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Beyond 88 Keys

The Music of Michael Arnowitt

"Beyond 88 Keys," a new documentary film about my life and music, was premiered at a film festival in March, 2004. The film, by Susan Bettmann, was two years in the making and contains footage from live concerts both in the United States and in Europe, along with interview segments with myself, musical colleagues, arts presenters, and audience members.

These interview segments delve into some of my musical philosophies, my thoughts about how to construct concert programs, and the physical and emotional experiences listeners and myself have had at my piano performances. In addition to excerpts from concerts, the film shows me in action giving educational lecture-demonstrations at colleges. The film also offers a peek into the backstage life of a concert pianist.

As the title indicates, the film's aims range beyond the 88 keys of the piano: although on the surface many of the elements of a standard documentary about a musician are present here, such as biographical details of my childhood through to my current life in Vermont, the film tries to portray myself as a whole person, not simply a musician.

Piano music I perform in the film (both as featured pieces and as music beds for interview segments) include compositions by: Bach, Byrd, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, William Mayer, Allen Shawn, a montage of contemporary American composers, and two jazz performances.

The film's running time is 76 minutes.

VHS and DVD copies are available from the film's production company. They are charging $23 per copy for either format ($20 + $3 for shipping/handling).

Orders or inquiries can be directed to:

White Rock Productions / The Battle of White Plains Theater Company
148 North Bear Swamp Road
North Middlesex, VT 05682

Telephone: 802-223-5124
E-mail: videopurchase@surfglobal.net

Any screenings to groups of people in public or semi-public settings must be done by making a rental arrangement with the film's owners.

Where I know of them, I list public screenings of the film on the calendar page of this web-site, which you can reach by clicking here.

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