The Sound of Nashville Alternative Music at the Sundance Film Festival

Film and music go hand in hand. The essence and mood of a scene in a film can be made with music (think the two terrifying notes in JAWS, Rocky’s pump-up music during his famous workout montage, or the simple image of John Cusack in Say Anything holding up a boombox blaring ‘In Your Eyes’ by Peter Gabriel). The music in these scenes made them iconic, and will forever be associated with these films.

That being said, the Sundance Film Festival does not ignore the importance of music. The Festival offers an array creative experiences throughout the 10 day event, many of them being performances. Every year the music scene is quality, and one company makes the scene especially interesting by bringing in the sound of Nashville alternative music into the mix. An array of artists, musicians and songwriters will showcase their talents, and this year, local Summit County musicians are also given an opportunity to get involved.

Anacrusis, a Nashville-based publishing and licensing company, focuses on local alternative artist-writers. The company has been coming to the Sundance Film Festival for years, giving both emerging and established alternative songwriters and artists opportunities to perform and connect to the film industry. Liz Rogers, founder of the company explains “We strive to create unique opportunities for our writers and artists, and Sundance is a special event for us because it is so relationship driven, which is a top priority for us.”

Building meaningful, personal relationships is a strong part of the company’s mission. One way they achieve this goal is by hosting their annual Anacrusis Park City Writing Camp and Retreat for artists to connect, write, and workshop ideas. “The writing camp we’re hosting builds invaluable connections with other writers and artists in a focused studio setting where the groups are writing 8 songs a day” explains Rogers. Anacrusis is also hosting 4 top music supervisors for the event, providing additional opportunities for the songwriters and artists.  

Notable artists who are attending the retreat include Drew Southwell, who goes under the moniker Trove, James Droll, Truett, and Jeff Carl.

This year, on top of inviting Nashville artists to the retreat, Anacrusis also invited select Summit County locals to participate. “We’ve been coming out to Sundance for several years, and local songwriters like Elizabeth Hareza have been so helpful in connecting us and bridging the gap between Nashville and Park City. As a way to say thank you and hopefully provide a few additional opportunities, I wanted to highlight some local songwriters in this year’s programming.” Local musicians that are participating in the writers camp include Elizabeth Hareza, Kyle Henderson of Desert Noises, and Mike Rogers.

Anacrusis also has connections to the films themselves. The company has collaborated with a couple of films that will be screening at this year’s festival. Rogers mentions that “we have worked closely with Justine von Winterfeldt for various projects, and the film The Catcher Was a Spy which she music supervised premieres 1/19.  Justine actually came out to Sundance with us last year for this same event (our Anacrusis Park City Writing Camp and Retreat)!  The film - and the music in it - will be incredible.” Dan Wilcox also attended their most recent retreat and showcase that was hosted in Nashville in November. “He is the incredible music supervisor behind the film Beirut, which is premiering 1/22 and we are so excited to see!” notes Rogers.

Don’t miss the Anacrusis live music shows and concerts coming up this week during the Sundance Film Festival, sponsored in part by SunTrust Bank and Park City Mountain Resort:

• Artists perform on the mountain at Red Pine Lodge, PCMR (FREE), Friday 1/19, 12:30pm

• Artists perform at Chase Sapphire Lounge on Main St (FREE), Saturday 1/20, 4pm

• Truett performs at The Loading Doc in SLC (ticketed), Sunday 1/21, 7pm

• Wednesday/Thursday/Friday (1/17-1/19) artists will be featured on the PCTV Mountain Morning Show

• James Droll will be playing the Sundance Opening Night Chase Sapphire party on Thursday 1/18 (Invite only).

Dive into music and film this Sundance Film Festival, and look for the Anacrusis songwriters along the way. Their mission is right up our alley -- supporting local artists, and supporting our creative economy! Right on.