The Great Flood

Bill Morrison

Synopsis

The Mississippi River Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in American history. In the spring of 1927, the river broke out of its banks in 145 places and inundated 27,000 square miles to a depth of up to 30 feet. Part of it enduring legacy was the mass exodus of displaced sharecroppers. Musically, the “Great Migration” of rural southern blacks to Northern cities saw the Delta Blues electrified and reinterpreted as the Chicago Blues, Rhythm and Blues, and Rock and Roll.

Using minimal text and no spoken dialog, filmmaker Bill Morrison and composer/guitarist Bill Frisell have created a powerful portrait of a seminal moment in American history through a collection of silent images matched to a searing original soundtrack.

Music performed by Bill Frisell, Guitar; Ron Miles, Trumpet; Tony Scherr, Bass; Guitar Kenny Wollesen, Drums.

More Info

Bill Morrison’s work typically re-purposes archival film footage, which is then edited to the work of contemporary composers. “Decasia”(67 min, 2002), a collaboration with composer Michael Gordon, was selected to the US Library of Congress’ 2013 National Film Registry. “The Great Flood” (78 min, 2013), a collaboration with guitarist / composer Bill Frisell, won the Smithsonian Ingenuity Award of 2014 for historical scholarship.