July 17, 2024

The Casa Italiana Sociocultural Center invites you to the American screening of the award-winning documentary “Songbirth” on Sunday, November 22, 2015 at 4:00 pm.  Simona Irrera, author and filmmaker, will be present.

Simona Irrera
Simona Irrera

“SongBirth” is a feature documentary on the creation of songs – told by songwriters, filmed in London, Los Angeles, Milan, Rome, Nashville and Berlin. It follows the journey of their minds, also portrayed via metaphoric representations (a woman walking in the desert, a flower growing, dance choreography, etc.) The mix of diverse but unified forms of art joins the songwriters’ storytelling. Above all, the music from live performances, the soundtrack and the songwriters’ voices are the leading sound of this documentary. SongBirth takes on a storytelling approach, with an introspective and honest style.

The creator and film maker of the documentary, Dr. Simona Irrera, will be present during the filming as well as composer/performer Joe Dunn and pianist Helen Garden.   In 2007, Simona Irrera was in the people jury at the Rome International Film Festival. Afterwards, she attended the New Cinema Network Lab and the Cinecampus Lab in 2011 and 2014. Simona Irrera songbirthhas done a few shorts and ‘The Story of a Water Drop’ received an award with a prize of 500 Eur at the Adda Film Festival. The first full feature she has produced and directed, “SongBirth” premiered in Rome in August 2015 and received the award “Roma Video Clip”. SongBirth is a documentary on songwriting and has inspired the website songbirthdoc.com which is the place for new projects & video interviews to music and cinema protagonists such as Robert De Niro, Ken Loach, Spandau Ballet, Colin Firth etc.

Also performing, in person, will be well-known composer and performer Joe Dunn, and at the piano Helen Eva Garden, who will perform her latest composition “A Love Letter to Francis”.  Joe Dunn is a singer-songwriter, living in Nashville, TN. His music spans several genres, including folk, indie rock, and alternative rock. He writes and records both full-band, electric and solo, acoustic material. Joe’s personal songbook contains hundreds of original songs and he has also cowritten a number of songs with some of Nashville and LA’s top songwriters. His voice has tremendous range and is adaptable to the many genres he plays.
In addition to being a prolific writer and vocalist, Joe is a talented guitar player and has played in the studio and live for bands ranging Rock / Pop / Country / Blues / Reggae.” Dunn’s solo work is a far cry from the simplistic acoustic ballads of your typical singer/songwriter. Combining undeniably talented vocal abilities over technical guitar riffs, Dunn is able to do the work of two players at once.” – Jer Cole, High Energy Soloist Defies Singer/Songwriter Stereotype (Nov 07, 2008)

Eva Garden, born in New York City of Italian immigrants, started piano lessons at the age of eight. By eleven, she qualified for entrance to the Julliard School of Music where she completed a curriculum of undergraduate studies. Mrs. Garden furthered her education in theory and harmony at Columbia University under the tutelage of Professor Vladimir Ussachevsky, from whom she received encouragement to develop her talent in composition. Her marriage to Capt. Francis Garden, USAF, however, interrupted this pursuit. Not until the nineteen seventies was she able to return to academia. In 1980 she received her Master of Music in Composition at the George Washington University (GWU). Among her works that were premiered are “Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano” at the Marvin Center Theater at GWU and an art-song for soprano and piano set to the poem “Extase,” by Victor Hugo. It was one of six chamber pieces selected for a concert given at Wolf Trap under the sponsorship of the American Women Composers.

This event is free and open to the public. A  reception will follow after the program.