The London-based collective The Heliocentrics released their first album, "Out There", in 2007, revealing straight off their influences which masterfully combined funk, jazz, psycho, hip-hop and library music in an original fashion.
Their eclecticism and willingness to experiment were also realised through countless collaborations throughout their career, namely the splendid LP "Inspiration Information", with legendary Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke, which earned them that year's Gilles Peterson Worldwide Winner Award and was included in a list of 'Five Essential Jazz Albums' chosen by musician Jamie Cullum. Other collaborations worth mentioning include "OST", with jazz pianist, musicologist and Middle-East music expert Lloyd Miller, "Jaiyede Afro", with veteran and pioneer of Afro soul and Afrobeat Orlando Julius, or "The Last Transmission", with musician and filmmaker Melvin van Pebbles, author of "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song", a 'blaxploitation' hallmark. More recently, they've released "A World of Masks", featuring the singer Barbora Patkova, as well as the original soundtrack for Cosmo Feilding-Mellen's documentary "The Sunshine Makers", which addresses the North-American counterculture of the 1960s associated with drug use as a way to expand consciousness and in an utopian mission to save the planet, thus anticipating another score, commissioned by Curtas Vila do Conde, for the film "Heaven And Earth Magic", cutting-edge filmmaker Harry Smith's most notable work, and its amazing imagery inspired in Smith's studies on alchemy, esoteric traditions involving mysticism and the occult, that goes well with the band's peculiar, exotic and psychedelic universe. The Heliocentrics' founder, drummer and producer Malcolm Catto brings to Curtas Vila do Conde Barbora Patkova (vocals), Jake Ferguson (bassist), Jack Yglesias (keyboard and percussions), Daniel Smith (guitar and Moog), Raven Bush (cello) and Sylvia Hallet (accordion). (MD)  less
  • HEAVEN & EARTH MAGIC Harry Smith

    Harry Smith
  • The Heliocentrics
Harry Smith, 1966
USA, ANI, , 01:06:00
Harry Everett Smith (Portland, 1923 – New York, 1991), one of the most inscrutable and offbeat American underground authors, is also a visual artist, bohemian, mystic, record collector, important figure in the Beat Generation and forerunner of the hippie movement, widely known for his his full length cutout animated film “Heaven And Earth Magic”, using his collection of Victorian photographs. Delirious, excessive and hermetic, the film sums up his work's main features, summarising opposite conceptions such as figuration and abstraction, tradition and modernity. Visually, it can be described as a combination of surrealist cut-outs and George Méliès' films, although it's not easy to sum it up. Smith himself was a bit elusive on this matter: “The first part depicts the heroine's toothache consequent to the loss of a very valuable watermelon, her dentistry and transportation to heaven. Next follows an elaborate exposition of the heavenly land, in terms of Israel and Montreal. The second part depicts the return to Earth from being eaten by Max Müller on the day Edward VII dedicated the Great Sewer of London.” This description may not help those searching for a brief plot summary, but the film's imagery suggests that it rests on a poetic and oneiric language and that it is much closer to experimental filmmaking than to classical film narrative. After all, it's as indecipherable as its author's mind, who was a friend of William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a believer in the use of drugs to achieve mystic ecstasy, and favoured the use of images build not upon logic but on the unconscious – hence his keenness on surrealism and automatic writing. To fully understand Harry Smith films' origin it's important to mention that besides film he was also interested in the occult and alchemy. In fact, he's most notably known for his influential Anthology of American Folk Music (1952), touchstone for the American folk music revival in the 1950s, and drawn from his extensive collection of out-of-print commercial 78 rpm recordings. Several musicians have often provided live music background for “Heaven And Earth Magic”, thanks to its free-form and non-narrative quality. At Curtas Vila do Conde the film screening will be accompanied The Heliocentrics, an English musical collective combining funk, jazz, and psych influences. (MD)  
PRODUCTION Harry Smith COPY CONTACT The Film-Makers' Cooperative; 12122675665,, EDITING Harry Smith