Sunday, 11 November 2012

Accordion Tribe Review

What do you think of when I say the word orchestra? I'm guessing that most people think of the instruments like the violin, the flute or the piano. Either that or the music of Beethoven, Bach and the endless array of beautiful classical tunes that are out there for everyone to enjoy. What do you think of when I say the word band? More than likely you think of your favourite band of the moment or all time. Groups like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones or modern bands like The Killers or Maroon 5. I would be willing to bet that most people when they hear either of these words never go directly to the word accordion. It's not generally thought of in either context. When you hear it generally you think of gypsies or a strange guy on the street doing a one man band with a monkey on his shoulder. You don't generally think of them in the sense of a group that tours around Europe playing in music halls and other venues to large audiences.

And yet there's The Accordion Tribe, an unusual group of musicians playing an unusual instrument. Each of these members, whether they are from Eastern Europe or New York or some place in between, have found a common truth in the accordion. They all love to play it and they all believe in the music they are playing. An instrument which is not quite classical but not quite modern. It occupies this weird in between place that no one really talks about but everyone knows exists. Bring five of them together and you have a group that's making beautiful music. You wouldn't think that there would be much range in an instrument which compared to a full orchestra or a computerized synthesizer doesn't seem to have what it takes. But listen to this group play together and you can't help but marvel at the melodies and compositions that come out of the group. From the style and the range of music they can play, their relationships with each other, much like their music, flows along and works in concert with each other to the point where you're never entirely bored.

The film, thankfully, is very much the same way. Each member of the group is given equal time and equal consideration to tell the story they want to tell about where and how they came to play the accordion and the group that is featured within it but you never get too much of either one to feel like it drags on in any serious way. Weaving back and forth between them you get a sense of what it is that drives them and how they make it work with each other. Music is a beautiful thing, and so is this film which at times plays like a song itself. Anyone who wants to see a fresh take on a new instrument, and a fresh look at a documentary about a music group should check this film out.

You can do that through Amazon, Vudu, Fandor, Youtube, and iTunes.

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