"Greg Weeks (of Espers) is describing the genesis of a new musical review entitled The Valerie Project. Inspired by a classic of Czech New Wave cinema, Jaromir Jires' Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970), Greg, joined by members of Espers and other Philadelphia groups such as Fern Knight, Grass, Fursaxa, Timesbold, Woodwose and Rake (as well as enigmatic electronicist Charles Cohen), conceived a new soundtrack to the film. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is an allegorical coming of age film; a work populated by bewitched earrings, weasels, vampires, frisky maidens, friskier huntsmen, wicked aunts, bespectacled eagles and the handsomest moustache this side of 1970, the year the film debuted. Key to The Valerie Project's conception is how reframing the film's action with an alternate soundtrack draws new interpretations from a work of depth and changeable meaning. Lubos Fiser's original score is lovingly recalled and ambitiously targeted by the group as a sound cycle to be equalled every time they play it. The tone is dense and ornate, expansively acid-charged -- 'a symphonic version of Magma' at its zenith. In particular, the film's themes of lost innocence and pastoral living struck a chord with Weeks and his fellow players. 'There's a current movement towards responsible living... a need and desire to reorient to a world that is too chaotic, too oppressive, too technologically stifling,' says Weeks. 'It's a new version of the "back to the land" phenomenon only with lessons learned. Valerie taps into so much of that. It projects a political and cultural message that is all the more relevant today.'"
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