Frankenstein plays muse to filmmaker Bill Morrison, trumpeter Dave Douglas

Frankenstein plays muse to filmmaker Bill Morrison, trumpeter Dave Douglas

Much like Mary Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein, experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison pulls bits and pieces together to create something new. But rather than robbing graves and collecting bones and fingers, Morrison seeks out found celluloid, archival footage, and other moments lost in time to create something entirely different from its previous life. His latest project, Spark of Being, fittingly re-imagines the tale of Frankenstein. For the project, Morrison collaborated with jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas, creating a memorable experience from scratch.

After re-reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Morrison and Douglas set out to create something from nothing, building upon simple ideas that flourished and became increasingly more complex--much like the story itself. The title of the film is telling of the approach the two men took for the project. It comes from a brief passage in the novel:

I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet.

While Morrison created a narrative out of found and recycled footage Douglas, a musician who draws inspiration from many sources and samples himself, set about creating the sound of the film, employing turntables and electric jazz with the help of Grammy-nominated Keystone.

You can see the creative results tonight only at the Walker Art Center. Tickets are $25 and the event screens at 8 p.m. For more info visit

Spark of Being: New Work by Dave Douglas and Bill Morrison from SiCa on Vimeo.

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