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Jazz in the spring: Raymond Scott

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Raymond Scott in 1955 with his early electronic keyboard the Clavivox. Courtesy
Raymond Scott in 1955 with his early electronic keyboard the Clavivox. Courtesy

You may not know the name Raymond Scott (1908-1994), but if you spent any of your formative years, and perhaps some of  your adult years, watching Warner Brothers cartoons, you’ve heard his music.  Scott’s “Powerhouse” is among the iconic cartoon music compositions, featured in any number of assembly line scenes – not just in Warner Brothers cartoons, but on television programs like The Simpsons, The Bernie Mac Show, and Ren and Stimpy. The feature length documentary Deconstructing Dad: the Music, Machines, and Mystery of Raymond Scott explores the life and work of this composer, bandleader, inventor and electronic music pioneer, presented from the unique perspective of Stan Warnow, his filmmaker son. The film interweaves Warner Brothers cartoon excerpts (Scott has been called “the man who made cartoons swing”), rare home movies, and interviews with noted Scott fans John Williams, Don Byron, Mark Mothersbaugh, DJ Spooky and Herb Deutsch, co-inventor of the Moog Synthesizer. Learn more about “Deconstructing Dad” External link

The film will be screened Monday, April 12th, in the Mary Pickford Theater as part of Jazz in the Spring at the Nation’s Library, a film series curated by Larry Appelbaum, Reference Specialist in the Music Division. The Mary Pickford Theater is located on the third floor of the James Madison Building. No tickets are required, but seating is limited. Reservations may be made one week before any given screening by calling (202) 707-5677 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Reserved seats must be claimed at least 10 minutes before show time, after which standbys will be admitted. Programs are subject to change without notice.

Comments (3)

  1. I usually think of Raymond Scott in connection with electronic music. How many films are in this series? If it’s curated by Larry Appelbaum, it’s gotta be great!

  2. George, this will be the second of four films in the series – I’ll blog about each of them about a week before the screening.

  3. Contrary the info on the site, the LoC phone message indicates that reservations are NOT being accepted for this screening, & will instead be available strictly on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early to claim your seat.

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