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Screening and Performance

Musicians in Print, on Film, and in Concert
Friday, May 9, and
Saturday, May 10, 2003

Why has biography lost ground as a mode for understanding art? And why, by contrast, have many recent biographies of popular and jazz musicians offered such a rich framework for understanding their art forms?

The description of a life is an inherently difficult undertaking, and questions of voice, style, and technical understanding all come to the fore when artistic creation gives a biography its meaning.

The programs of the Getty Research Institute have been devoted this year to the theme of "Biography." "Feel Like Going Home" presents a fascinating program of biography on film and reflections on the craft of written biography by some of the most admired and influential writers in the field of popular music. Along with their own approaches to biographical narrative, the film segments also offer some powerful records of the historical performances that the writer must conjure up in words.