Symphonic Cinema: “Fresh”


“Fresh,” released in 1994, may be the least fresh offering in a lineup of much more recent films. But three decades later, the intense story about a 12-year-old losing childhood innocence in Brooklyn, New York’s drug-dominated projects is still potent.

The screening will be accompanied by the debut of an original score by Timothy Blackmon Jr. and James Gardin, who will utilize trumpet, voice, effect pedals and pads to accompany the harsh visuals of the film in ‘90s hip-hop style.

Surpassing Stewart Copeland's original score is no easy task. Much of the film’s appeal has to do with how its music draws us into rapidly changing scenes and images. Copeland adds orchestral music that swells, flows and accents the horrors the young boy faces as he uses his chess skills to undermine neighborhood drug dealers.

The musicians seem qualified for the challenge. Blackmon Jr. attended the Dillard Center for the Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the Jazz Studies program at the Florida State University College of Music, where he met jazz pianist Marcus Roberts. He toured the United States and Europe as part of Roberts’ ensemble, the Modern Jazz Generation, and is now the applied instructor of jazz trumpet at Oakland University.

Gardin, known for his empowering rhymes, fun melodies and flashy stage presence, is a Lansing native who has played with big-name artists like Jack Harlow, Murs, Bryce Vine and Macklemore. His music has been featured in TV shows like ESPN’s “First Take” and the CW’s “All American” and films like 2022’s “Block Party.”

No matter what music is backing the 115-minute film, viewers will be captivated by its explicit nature and uncomfortable yet memorable content.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

Connect with us