Synopsis

Without knowing each other in advance, Mehdi Aminian (Iran, ney), Mehmet Polat (Turkey, oud), Emmanuel Hovhannisyan (Armenia, duduk and zurna), Ruven Ruppik (Germany, percussion), Aleix Tobias Sabater (Spain, percussion), Meg Rosaleen Hamilton (UK, violin), Monica Mădaș (London-based Romania, lead singer) and Maria Casandra Hauși (Romania, lead singer) spend a couple of days together in a rehearsals room rearranging the music of Maria Tănase, a Romanian folk singer from the 20th century and a major cultural icon, in order to create a homogenous musical act. Rehearsals is an intimate portrait of the act of coming together and creating music.

Bio-filmography of the director

Ana-Maria Vîjdea is a young filmmaker who graduated from the Department of Cinematography, Photography and Media at the Faculty of Theatre and Television, Babeș-Bolyai University, in Cluj-Napoca. She has recently been admitted into the Master's Degree in Film at Syracuse University in New York, where she benefits from a Fulbright scholarship. Her main interest is in the documentary and diaristic fields and her short films have been shown and awarded at several festivals around the world. Her last documentary "Rehearsals" premiered in 55th Krakow Film Festival.


Cast

Mehdi Aminian

(Iran, ney)

Mehmet Polat

(Turkey, oud)

Emmanuel Hovhannisyan

(Armenia, duduk and zurna) Monica Mădaș

(Romanian lead singer)

Maria Casandra Hausi

(Romanian, special guest and lead singer)

Aleix Tobias Sabater

(Spain, percussion)

Meg Rosaleen Hamilton

(UK, violin)

Ruven Ruppik

(Germany, percurssion)

Crew

Director:

Ana Maria Vîjdea
Producer:

Mário Gajo de Carvalho
Cinematography:

Ana Maria Vîjdea
Editor:

Ana Maria Vijdea

Cosmin Nicoară
Direct sound:

Dan Stefan Parlog

Sound design:

Mário Gajo de Carvalho

Intention note

“When we say 'one-two, one-two', then we understand what it is that makes us emphasize the one, and what it is that makes the two like an echo, a reflection, something that responds to one. And suppose we do not say, 'one-two', that we only say, 'one-one-one-one', all with the same emphasis, this will not satisfy us. We will not feel any rhythm until the one becomes accented and the two, or whatever we say next, follows it. Then it becomes perfect. We see the same happening with the action of walking, which is accomplished by both legs. If we practice walking on one leg we will find something missing in the rhythm.” (The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan)

Rehearsals started as an attempt to enclose the process of music making in a documentary film. By following a group of musicians from their first encounter until the closing live performance, we followed the natural series of changes intrinsic to the birth of songs. Guided by the unfolding rhythm and by the musicians’ interactions in between songs, we tried to portray the music as an act of coming together.

We chose a musical group called Roots Revival Romania. Created by Mehdi Aminian, an Iranian expatriate in Romania, this project brings together musicians from different countries in a traditional, ethnographic context. Without knowing each other in advance, the musicians spend a couple of days together, improvising and composing, in order to create a homogenous musical act. Their starting point closes in on the discography of Maria Tănase, a Romanian folk singer from the 20th century and a major cultural icon. By recording the re-interpretations of her songs by the Roots Revival Romania, "Rehearsals" emphasizes the contemporary practice of reenactment.