Featured Artist | David Cieri

David Cieri is a master composer, capable of the most subtle turns of phrase, and sensitive to every nuance of image and sound. His work ranges from the emotionally sublime to the rhythmically hypnotic, from the joyous to the foreboding. In this remarkable collection of work that he has composed for us over ten years, one can hear all of these feelings come together. From the spiraling ascendance of Meditation 9 to the ethereal breath of Into Another Life, Dave proves his gifts on each track. (Ken Burns)

"Collaborating with Florentine Films over the course of the last ten years has yielded music that I am very grateful and excited to share. To remove these compositions from their visual counterparts—from the bath that the images have been swimming in—and present them as expressions in their own right has its advantages. Working with these remarkable human beings has taught me a great deal about the potentials inherent in stitching together sound and image—the compositions are true co-conspirators in helping to have mutual influence over the film watcher and, in a sense, this music has “changed” the images as much as the images have framed the music.  

My first assignment for the Florentine gang—the stately “Leola” by Scott Joplin—works to accentuate the freedom and accessibility of our national treasures in The National Parks, while the swag in “Prohibition Ramble” was built to dance with a newly emerging sense of inner freedom, as exemplified in 'Prohibition'. After traveling to Vietnam to ready myself for writing and performing music for 'The Vietnam War', the music that eventually was tempted forth worked to etch out the mystery and the horror of our darkest potentials as humans, while never losing sight of our redeeming qualities.

This collection surveys the landscape of music I have made for these documentaries over the last ten years. I hope you imagine the films these compositions were made for, but I also hope you hear the love and friendship that I have steadily and increasingly been feeling for this gang of collaborators. Now that these compositions are “detached” from their original homes, I also hope they open you up to your own “scenes” and imaginings because, above and beyond anything else, I feel as Roger Ebert did about the movies: my wish is that this music activates our finer feelings and broadest sense of humanity as only art—empathy machines—can do."