Prepare to be blinded by Thomas Dolby‘s science again! Ugh, so okay, enough with the references to his massive 1982 classic hit, as all those interested in techno-tunes should know by now that Thomas Dolby has been a consistently pioneering (and Grammy-winning) pop musician, producer, and visual performance artist. (And along the way, he’s written hits for others, even Foreigner and Whodini. Who knew?!)
In 2011, he released his first album in nearly 20 years, A Map Of The Floating City, which was was also released as three separate EPs, and was a kind of connected tale of imaginary landscapes. His latest venture involves another sort of travelogue, weaved into his usual forward-looking technological live happening, but with a reflective thematic bent. It seems a lighthouse, near his childhood home on an ex-military base on an island off the east coast of England, is due for the wrecking ball. After getting little co-operation from the local authorities, he decided to act as guerilla filmmaker and sneak upon the lighthouse at dawn on the morning of its closing and try to capture the ethereal mood he remembered from years of seeing its light cast past his youth. Of course this wasn’t an iPhone behind a bush deal, as Dolby crept up to the island in an inflatable boat to shoot some footage, and used a remote-controlled drone and a battery of high-tech spy cameras placed around the grounds. It resulted in a kind of docu-dream, The Invisible Lighthouse.
The film itself has already received acclaim at its limited showings at some U.S. film festivals including the Los Angeles DIY Film Festival, where it won the awards for Best Documentary and Best Director, L.A.’s Hollyshorts, the Albuquerque Film & Media Experience, the Columbia Gorge Film Festival, and JamFest in New Orleans, where it won for Best Documentary Short.
Dolby has since taken the film to Blake Leyh, a NYC-born, England-raised composer and sound engineer who has worked with James Cameron, the Coen Brothers, Julie Taymor, John Waters and many others over 20+ films; and was the music supervisor and composer for all five seasons of HBO’s acclaimed series The Wire, and the music supervisor for David Simon’s New Orleans series, Treme. Together the two have designed a sight/sound installation—with Dolby as narrator and score-maker in front of the film—that he assures will be a unique, constantly evolving, interactive show at each venue. He’ll take the show around the U.S. to independent film houses for what is sure to be an evocative and unusually personal presentation for the synth-pop pioneer.
Tour Dates For Tomas Dolby’s The Invisible Lighthouse:
10/10 – Mill Valley, CA – Mill Valley Film Festival
10/20 – Orlando, FL – Orlando Film Festival
10/23 – Sellersville, PA – Sellersville Theate
10/24 – Philadelphia, PA – The Trocadero Theatre
10/25 – Albany, NY – Swyer Theater
10/26 – Someeville, MA – Somerville Theatre
10/28 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre
10/29 – Carnegie, PA – Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall
10/30 – TOoronto, ON – 99 Sudbury
11/01 – Gloucester, MA – Cape Anne Film Festival
11/03 – Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre
11/04 – Chicago, IL – Mayne Stage
11/05 – Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center
11/06 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre
11/07 – Milwaukee, WI – Shank Hall
11/09 – St. Louis, MO – Blueberry Hill
11/11 – Lawrence, KS – Liberty Hall
11/19 – Portland, OR – Alberta Rose Theater
11/21 – San Francisco, CA – Swedish American Music Hall
11/22 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Forever Cemetery
11/23 – Sacremento, CA – Crest Theater
Dates TBA:
Boulder, CO
Salt Lake City, UT
Vancouver, BC
Seattle, WA
Denver, CO