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John Fahey, the subject of our exploratory documentary film, was one of the great guitarists of the twentieth-century.
John Fahey, the subject of our exploratory documentary film, was one of the great guitarists of the twentieth-century.
261 backers pledged $25,637 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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A word from the Director on meeting Fahey and why Tamarack Productions needs to make this film.

John Fahey is one of the greatest guitarists of all time. He was a trickster, a raconteur, a wonderful writer, a self taught naturalist (with a particular interest in turtles!), a fount of knowledge about American and other musics, and, above all, a brilliant guitar player as well as composer. My own saga with John Fahey began in 1982 with a radio documentary I produced about him for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  Ever since, I’ve been inspired by his music, comforted by his bent humour and fascinated by his ever rippling artistic legacy.

Known as the father of 'American Primitive Guitar', Fahey’s music transcends the boundaries of past musical traditions and creates a complex musical dialogue primarily with his steel stringed solo guitar. John Fahey’s primordial influences came from the Mississippi Delta. Fahey also blazed trails as he channeled bluegrass, Brazilian, classical, Indian, New Orleans and musique concrète forms. As a writer, his musicological works on blues greats such as Charley Patton and his enchantingly informed and humorous prose add to his astonishing legacy.

A decade after his death, Fahey continues to inspire a diverse and deep group of musicians including participants in our film, Pete Townshend of The Who, Chris Funk of The Decemberists and Joey Burns of Calexico.  Leo Kottke, Ry Cooder and members of Sonic Youth are among the many other brilliant musicians who acknowledge how they have been influenced by Fahey.

With the support of the John Fahey Trust, Executive Producer JoAnn McCaig, the creative participation of The School of Creative Arts and Animation of Seneca College of Toronto and completion funds raised through this Kickstarter campaign, Tamarack Productions will ponder Fahey’s enduring artistic legacy in a feature documentary film that will visually evoke the vision of a great artist. It will employ beautifully textured, non-linear, cinematic and thoroughly entertaining means to launch a wide audience into the universe constructed and inhabited by John Fahey. This documentary film is destined for international distribution. To date it has been purchased by Oregon Public Television (OPB) and GlassBOX TV in Canada. I am also very pleased to acknowledge the contribution of our Portland, Oregon-based Consulting Producer, Doug Whyte.

The film will rely first and foremost on the music of John Fahey. With the active support and cooperation of both The John Fahey Trust and Dean Blackwood of Revenant Records, the second of Fahey’s own recording companies, the film will access a rich and otherwise inaccessible archive of musical recordings, moving images, photographs, prose and paintings. The visual archive of Fahey performing is very rich. The collection of photographs is equally extensive. We will further augment this live action archive with short animated sequences that will evoke Fahey’s artistic, imagined universe. It is time to consider his enduring, singular musical contribution in a feature documentary film.

This labour of love will be completed this autumn – I can’t wait for you to see it.

--James Cullingham, Director/Producer/Writer and founder of Tamarack Productions

Our Team:

Director/Writer/Producer: James Cullingham

Cinematographer: Igal Hecht

Additional photography: Peter D. Richardson

Editor: Jessica Anne Cullingham

Producer/Production Manager: Monica Szenteszky

Associate Producer/Archivist: Tina Witham

Consulting Producer, Oregon: Doug Whyte

Executive Producers: JoAnn McCaig, James Cullingham

Thanks to:

Melody Fahey and Mitch Greenhill -- The John Fahey Trust

Bill Belmont, Concord Music Group

Dean Blackwood, Revenant Records

Stefan Grossman

Mark Jones, Chair, Seneca College School of Creative Arts and Animation, Toronto, Canada

Marc Minsker

*Still photo of John Fahey kneeling with a guitar courtesy of Jan Fahey.

For more information visit:

johnfaheyfilm.com

www.tamarackproductions.com

And check out our Facebook page.

You will also find updates on my wordpress blog.

Any questions of comments? Email: tina.tamarack@rogers.com

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    Be emblazoned on the silver screen! We'll add your name to the credit roll!

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    Not only will you find your name in the credits but we'll be sure to send you a DVD of the film when it becomes available.

    (*For international orders, please add $10 US to your pledge for the cost of shipping.)

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Your name in the credits + a DVD copy of "In Search of Blind Joe Death - The Saga of John Fahey" + your choice of one of the following films by Tamarack Productions: "Duncan Campbell Scott: The Poet and The Indians", "Lessons in Fear", "We Have Such Things at Home" or "Dishonour Defied"

    *For more information about these films, visit the Tamarack Productions website: www.tamarackproductions.com
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above + a copy of a Fahey-inspired sound collage made lovingly by the Tamarack Team.

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Funding period

- (90 days)