This entertaining and informative documentary focuses on musicians and composers and explores how appreciation for the music of the accordion has been regaining its footing as a vibrant and versatile instrument and taking its rightful place. This resurgence of interest has actually been occurring over the last 30-40 years. Though many continue to see it as the stodgy instrument of a bygone era - and accordion jokes abound - this film sets the record straight! Accordions deliver a surprising range of styles, express the complete and complex range of human emotion, and reflect the diversity in our culture today. Accordions Rising offers entertaining, conversational style interviews, anecdotal commentary and both formal and informal music performances from celebrated and contemporary accordionists, composers and bands. The interweaving of their very unique personalities, and an examination of the cross-fertilization of their musical inventions and performance examples are the very heart of this story. These globe trotting musicians make up the colorful and thoughtful cast of characters who drive the story by tracing their uniquely personal attractions to the instrument and sharing their surprisingly divergent paths: from immigrant roots, Creole or Roma beginnings, for example, to a recognition of the very special niche this so-called "low art" form offers for inspirations in jazz, classical, new music, pop, fusion forms, operatic styles and beyond. These music makers have an audience in some of the hippest hideaways and most sought after venues. The film makes clear that the so-called “accordion world” is actually a microcosm of the larger landscape and embodies a curious continuum including everything from wacky and wild to sophisticated, serious, meditative and post-modern.
Director Roberta Cantow