G.I. Gurdjieff, the Armenian spiritual teacher, spent many years discovering the ancient music and knowledge that had been preserved in temples, monasteries and schools of the Essenes, Tibetans, Indians and Sufis. In Russia, in 1913, Gurdjieff began to pass on this knowledge, and attracted groups of people from varied backgrounds. Amongst them was Thomas de Hartmann, from St. Petersburg.
De Hartmann was born into the Russian aristocracy. His musical talent was recognized at the St. Petersburg conservatory, then under Rimsky Korsakov. He was 22 in 1907 when his first ballet was premiered at the Imperial Opera with Legat, Pavlova, Karsavina, Fokine and Nijinsky in the cast and the Tsar in the audience. The Tsar later authorized his release from active service to concentrate on music.
De Hartmann met Gurdjieff in 1916 just as the Revolution was starting. During the next 13 years Gurdjieff and de Hartmann engaged in a remarkable collaboration to create original compositions whose rhythms and modes were influenced by the music Gurdjieff had heard on his travels. You can listen to samples from a home recording with de Hartmann at the piano.
The Gurdjieff/De Hartmann music was chosen for the film because it encompasses both East and West and belongs to no particular century. It is performed by the distinguished composer and pianist Laurence Rosenthal who wrote this perceptive piece on their collaboration.
Laurence Rosenthal generously donated his recordings to this project.
Doug Rossini and I have worked together for over a decade. He edited Scandalize My Name: Stories from the Blacklist, Porraimos: Europe’s Gypsies in the Holocaust, and The Healing Gardens of New York. He has a real gift for finding the essence of a personality in the interviews, and his sensitivity to scoring added a whole other dimension to Porraimos.
Doug also teaches editing and, with his business partner Andy Stauffer, produces video and designs websites, including this one. You can find out more about him at his website.
Paul Koestner was DP for The Healing Gardens of New York. Aside from the beauty of his camerawork, his congeniality and professionalism put those who are not used to being on-camera at ease. Paul is currently the DP for the comedy series Louie. Click here for a list of more of his credits.
Don Wyllie’s on-line editing credits include Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and Art in the Twenty-First Century.
For a more complete list of his credits click here.