Artists We’re Talking About!

FILM :

PHILIPP ABRYUTIN | Chukchi | Russian Federation

Philipp Abryutin (Chukchi) was born in 1986 in the Chukotka region of Russia. His parents Larisa and Mikhail Abryutin were doctors in a mobile medical group dedicated to traveling the tundra and coasts of Chukotka to treat patients living outside cities and villages. When he was thirteen, his parents moved to Moscow to further their careers and by the time he was fourteen he won an international writing competition in which excerpts from this story have been published in magazines and newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune, the Ford Report and Russia’s Northern Lights magazine. Since then, he has received his Masters from the famous VGIK/All-Russian State University of Cinematography whose faculty and alumni include Russian film greats Sergei Eisenstein, Vsevolod Pudovkin, Alexander Sokurov and Andrei Tarkovsky. His Master’s film project in 2008, PREVENTION OF REPEATED CRIMES won several awards at the 28th Moscow International Film Festival including the Spectator Award given to the best student film. Currently he works in Russian television and is pursuing his Ph.D in Film Dramaturgy at his alma mater. His recent short documentary, IVAN AND IVAN, screened at the 2009 ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and the 2010 Trømso International Film Festival and is an official selection at the 2010 edition of MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight and the SXSW Film + Music Conference.

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BLACKHORSE LOWE | Navajo | U.S.A.

Larry Blackhorse Lowe is from Nenahnezad, New Mexico on the Navajo reservation.  Born into a large family, Lowe discovered his first cast and crew, living under the same roof as his own.  Themes of familial loyalty and honor continue to resonate in his work. Lowe finds truth in Navajo actors and encourages them to bring their own personas to the screen.  Since his films deal mostly with Navajos and Navajo subject matter, only they, he feels, can carry his vision across.  Blackhorse’s first feature, 5th WORLD, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and has screened domestically and internationally. Lowe’s passion as a filmmaker is to remain true to himself and his family.  He challenges himself to make movies faithful to his inspirations despite criticism. Lowe participated in the Writer’s and Producers Lab of the Sundance Film Institute in the summer of 2006. In 2007 Lowe received the Renew Media grant for the LEFT HANDED PATH.  Recently he was awarded the New Mexico New Visions Contract award and Panavision Award for his short film SHIMÁSÁNI, which has screened at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, 2009 L.A. Shorts Festival, 2009 ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

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PER-JOSEF IDIVUOMA | Sámi | Sweden

Per-Josef Idivuoma was born and raised in the village of Idivuoma in northern Sweden, and grew up in the woods. He was raised in a reindeer-herding family, and has a close relationship with both his family and the culture. Idivuoma’s strong tie to his reindeer-herding traditions is witnessed in his creativity as he aims to inject Sámi values, morality and lifestyle into his films. Per-Josef expresses himself best in humoristic styles, such as parodies, and he always has a bright and humoristic side to everything in life. If a story doesn’t have any humor in it, it’s not worth telling according to Per-Josef. Per-Josef Idivuoma has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sámi Journalism, and since 2001 he worked at the Sámi radio station in Sweden, but in 2010 he left radio for good to start making movies. His biggest hope is to make a Sámi action-comedy in the future, but first he has to make several more short movies of his twenty-something ideas. Idivuoma’s first movie Čalmmis čalbmái/Eye to Eye (2007) had its World Premiere at the Native Cinema Showcase in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, and was nominated for the Čorvoš Prize at Sámi Film Festival in Kautokeino, Norway. Čurte-Niillas – the (Short) Movie was also nominated for the Čorvos Prize in 2010. Per-Josef is also the co-director, producer and editor of Mollet’s new music video for the song Mon, Mollet Ja Don that’s was YouTube released in May 2010. He’s the frontman in the Sámi rock band Mollet which released an EP in 2007 and a 2008 pre-album release on the World Wide Web for the long awaited full length album “Dego Yeah!” that came out in June 2010. He is currently in pre-production for a skateboarding parody film to be shot in 2011 in Stockholm. Check out his Youtube page here (or at the links on the right): PJ’s first doc on Youtube.

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ACTING :

KYLE CONRAD | German/Irish/English/Sámi | U.S.A.

Kyle Conrad was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1984. His displayed his love for acting early in life, running around his house, singing and acting out scenes from “Aladdin.” He attended a fine arts high school, Tulsa Central where he practiced various performing arts as well as baseball and kicking it up with his skateboard. When he was 18, the army called Kyle into action. He was part of the first invading unit to reach Baghdad where they set up relations with the local Iraqis. He had a brief stay back in the States and then another year long deployment in 2005 where his assignment was to drive throughout the country of Iraq completing weekly convoy missions. On his next return home, he did a year of Business Management at Oklahoma State University until he was called back to duty for the Oklahoma National Guard as a Detainees Operations Specialist. He last returned home in October 2008 and has spent over a year contemplating his years in service and the next steps of his life. He’s now renewing his passion for life by exploring and challenging his creative self through acting. He can easily mold himself into a variety of characters and his experience in war obviously lends well to action films. Ah, and he’s also a vampire freak! He would love to delve into the mystery and reveal the strengths and vulnerabilities of the vampire as they face the day to day of eternal life. His high observational talents attract him to films that explore the struggle between good and evil and the personal motivation behind so much power. Along with dramatic roles, he also enjoys bringing out his playful spirit through comedy. This class clown lists “Super Troopers” and “Grandma’s Boy” alongside his favorite dramatic films such as “Fight Club,” “Shawshank Redemption,” “American History X” and “Forrest Gump.” It is easy to come into the presence of Kyle and feel the sincerity, depth and acute awareness he brings to the world. Like Aladdin, Kyle too rises through adversity with the power of magic. Check out his modeling pix from a fun St. Louis photo-shoot with the great Wesley Law! Visit our “Pix” Page at the top.

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PHOTOGRAPHY :

WESLEY LAW | Chinese-American | U.S.A.

I would like to introduce you to photographer, Wesley Law. His photographic career started in London documenting East Asian immigrants as they integrated into the European culture. Having won a grant from the Alexia Foundation for World Peace to complete the 1.5 year project, the resulting work has travelled all over the world in a 2006 group exhibit entitled, Eyes on the World. It has graced cities such as New York, London, Athens, Tokyo and Bejing and is met with wide acclaim. Wesley continues to expand his work as globally as he possibly can. Through recent trips to China he has amassed a collection of images of the incredible pace of progress the country has experienced in the past 10 years. From classic images of the Three Gorges before they were flooded to the furthest western city, Urumqi and the superhighway that now bisects the former village. Wesley’s vision has always been to show compassion to both viewers: those who have never been there and those who are from there. Wesley’s latest international travels have taken him as far as the borders of Russia in a country called, Estonia. A former soviet puppet state, Estonia has risen to be called one of the Baltic Tigers. Wesley traveled around the capital city of Tallinn with a 4×5 film camera and lighting equipment to capture striking large format portraits of the landmarks and the people who inhabit the land. Wesley’s images never intend to show the foreign nature of another culture but to display the compassion of difference. Wesley is himself multicultural as his parents are from China, settling in St. Louis to raise a family almost 45 years ago. He draws a lot of his compassion and perspective towards others from the unique experiences growing up Asian-American. Oh, and he took the fab new pix of Kyle! To see more from this great St. Louie photo shoot, check out our “Pix” page at the top. You can view more of his work at his website at www.wesleylaw.com

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MUSIC :

LAURA ORTMAN | White Mountain Apache | U.S.A.

Laura Ortman has performed with STARS LIKE FLEAS, THE DUST DIVE, and currently with FAMILY DYNAMICS and composes music for film and art installations in the form of THE DUST DIVE FLASH. In 2008, she founded the first all-Native American orchestra called THE COAST ORCHESTRA. Members from Alaska, Arizona, D.C. and New York and premiered to sold-out audiences at the National Gallery of Art in D.C. and Opening Night of the Margaret Mead Film Festival in NYC. She has toured the U.S. and Canada extensively with Silver Summit and Stars Like Fleas and has toured Western Europe with the DUST DIVE, NATIONAL BRAID and STARS LIKE FLEAS. Proudly New York’s FREE103POINT9 Radio Transmission Arts of Acra, New York has included her album TENS OF THOUSANDS as part of their artist’s transmission dispatches ADO29.

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ADJÁGAS | Sámi | Norway

ADJÁGAS music is gentle, peaceful, dreamlike, spiritual and utterly engrossing. It is, at the same time, strangely alien. Lyrics are unrecognisable, startling vocals delivered in a style that veers between whispered but crystal clear sweetness, unbridalled emotion and all points in between, sometimes hitting notes that may previously have never existed. Their music is based around the concept of the yoik, a traditional musical form which describes something not with its words but its sounds. You can start a yoik where you like, you can end it where you like. Its elements remain structured, but its fluid at the same time. A yoik is like liquid in a bottle you can shake it up, but the contents remain the same. And the content of the yoik deliberately has many meanings, in order, if necessary, to spare the feelings of the subject. So it may pass judgement, but its open to interpretation. It is also possible to be the subject of more than one yoik: how it sounds depends upon the perspective of the person who is delivering it. More importantly, a yoik is not written. It comes to a person. Adjagas’ new album MANU RAVDNJI is available in any online store you trust:  iTunes, Amazon.com, Lala.com, Junodownload, and Spotify. CLICK HERE to read the UK GUARDIAN review and this one called “Arctic Magic“.

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ELISAPIE ISAAC | Inuk | Canada

ELISAPIE ISAAC was born of an Inuk mother and a Newfoundland father. She was adopted at birth by an Inuit family and was raised in the isolated community Salluit, Nunavik – the Great North. «Passing through her lips, Inuttitut sounds like the most beautiful language in the world». For Elisapie, the North is not at the top of the world, it’s at the center of her world. “My grandfather used to say that to avoid getting lost”, She says, “you always have to look where you’ve come from.” “There Will be Stars” is a record that looks to where this artist has come from? Here and now. “There will be Stars” is the new work of Inuk singer, composer and filmmaker Elisapie. This, her first solo recording, is the much anticipated follow up to the internationally acclaimed, award winning duo Taima which she co-founded with guitarist / composer Alain Auger in 2001. “There will be Stars” is not so much an album as a seduction from somewhere distant, somewhere other worldly. Sometimes full of joy, sometimes lined with melancholy, at times pop, at times folk, at times sung poems from the North – is it Polar pop? Arctic Electric New cool? She has already sold a total of 20 000 albums. It has been said that the great singers are first and foremost great communicators. Elisapie life’s work has been communicating, first on radio, then on TV and then on film with her award winning National Film Board documentary “If the Weather Permits”. She continues that tradition with “There Will be Stars”. A few listens in and you will start to realize that she has a deep respect for both the profound and the party. Visit her website here.

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FAMILY DYNAMICS | U.S.A.

New York’s FAMILY DYNAMICS is four Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalists from their previous incarnation together as Stars Like Fleas. Shannon Fields, Shelley Burgon, Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) and Ryan Sawyer’s instrumentation ranges from harp and violin, to electronics, samplers, to affected vocals and percussion. The songs are anchored by the quartet’s combined vocals (there is no front-person)—which run from unfettered and shambolic to otherworldly—and steeped in a searching aesthetic that runs from passages of gauzy, shimmering free improvisation to songs of almost congregational unity and force. They have played at MoMA, Centre Pompidou, P.S. 1, VPRO, SXSW, Performa Performance Art Festival and Daytrotter and are settling into a new album recorded in Woodstock, New York to be released by Hometapes (Bear In Heaven, Slaraffenland.) In addition to the arty gigs of Family Dynamics and Stars Like Fleas, members have also played with a variety of talents, including: Bjork, Rhys Chatham, Vincent Moon, John Zorn, Sean Lennon, Deerhoof, TV on the Radio & Thurston Moore. Visit their Facebook page here.

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THE NEKID BANDIT | Cherokee/Choctaw/Irish | U.S.A.

THE NEKID BANDIT: Since 1995, Okie-born and bred musician Jef Johnston has performed and recorded under many monikers. Some years ago Jef left the stage for sound engineering and original music for film including Sterlin Harjo’s Sundance award-winning film, “Four Sheets to the Wind.” Between hibernations he worked for Harjo and hustled on other behind-the-scenes endeavors. Now Jef is throwing his stocking hat back in the ring as The Nekid Bandit to perform new songs for an album in the works. He will be wearing clothes, most of the time. The Bandit is performing along side Big Apple-based Texan Drew Nix. With influences from Iron Maiden to Roger Miller, Jef’s newest efforts are best described as experimental folk.

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MARTHA REDBONE | Choctaw/Shawnee/Cherokee | U.S.A.

MARTHA REDBONE’s role as a leading voice in both soul and contemporary Native American music has been recognized by the awards garnered for both her albums – ‘Skintalk’ and ‘Home of the Brave’; which include 2006 Independent Music Award for Best R&B album and Best Debut Artist at the 2002 Native American Music Awards. In addition to music, Martha is a dedicated activist on behalf of both Native American and African American communities, she is recognized by the Nat’l HIV/Aids Partnership in Washington DC and was presented with a Red Ribbon Award at the United Nations. Most recently she has been a core member of the ManUp Campaign, a global youth movement to eradicate violence against women and girls, which launched with a youth summit in Johannesburg, South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer Games.

MOJO Music Magazine describes her as “Uniquely individual…supremely soulful.. A gem…”

Songwriter Magazine describes her music as “part Aretha Franklin, part Neville Brothers and part tribal powwow…”

For more info please visit www.martharedbone.com

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