ABOUT SOUNDTRACK 63
Soundtrack '63 is a live, music and multimedia retrospective of the Black experience in America. It is an artistic survey of the past that gives context to the present and asks important questions about the future. Originally developed by Creative Director Chen Lo and Musical Director, Asante Amin, Soundtrack ’63 premiered in 2013.
The full sensory experience takes viewers on a journey from the African continent through milestone events in African-American history. An immersive video of archival footage and animation serves as the backdrop for a soundtrack of spirituals, protest songs and popular music performed by an 18-piece orchestra and dynamic vocal chamber.
From the empowerment songs of James Brown to the outcries for justice in Ferguson, Soundtrack '63 highlights one of the single most important movements in American history and illustrates why it remains relevant today. Soul Science Lab duo, Chen Lo, and Asante Amin lead a host of dynamic performance artists who breathes new life into the sights and sounds that shaped an era. The audience is encouraged to re-think, re-new, and re-mix their conceptions of the past.
Past performances of Soundtrack 63 have included guest appearances by Rhiannon Giddens, Rapsody, Leon Bridges, Abiodun Oyewole of the Last Poets, Blitz the Ambassador, John Robinson, Sonya Sanchez, Jessica Care Moore and Dr. Cornel West.
“The music of 1963 was the soundtrack to a transformation. It inspired generations of African descendants to reclaim their humanity. The spirituals of the past brought faith and courage; pop tunes were an escape from harsh realities; and truth-tellers sang with a soulful defiance that electrified the Civil Rights Movement. The music of '63 still resonates with piercing clarity. I decided to create Soundtrack '63 as a multi-media event that could speak to today’s youth. I wanted it to be more interactive and educational and explore parallels to people’s current experience. How people react now versus then. What’s the level of activism?"
– Chen Lo, Creative Director, Soundtrack ‘63
"The music of Black people in America not only encapsulates our history of protest, pain, and victory but also holds the keys to understanding American history in its truest manifestation of freedom and democracy. Soundtrack '63 is groundbreaking and important right now, because it is a production of truth and rhythm delivered to deeply affect the emotions, mind, body, and spirit. We are using this production as a technology to start conversations and promote healing in a still divided America."
– Asante Amin, Musical Director, Soundtrack '63