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Recorder Queen (ATOM Study Guide)

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SKU: SG1701

This documentary is the story of a virtuoso discovering the power of music, and deciding what to do with it. Recorder Queen is a portrait of a unique artist of international standing. It is a particularly collaborative, organic way of exploring the subject matter. Recorder Queen brings to the fore a unique and important female voice by a team of predominantly female creatives. In the age of #metoo an emphasis on female voices is powerful and relevant. A close collaboration between filmmaker Sophie Raymond (Mrs Carey’s Concert) and musician Genevieve Lacey, Recorder Queen takes you inside a creative mind.

Animation, magic realism and live music create a layered portrait of a life lived in sound. Seen entirely from Recorder Queen’s perspective, the film invites audiences into her experience of the world. Viewers come close to her relationships with her instrument, music, collaborators and listeners. Ultimately, her story provides the framework for a bigger story about creativity - its challenges and risks and the need to embrace both to achieve harmony.

Curriculum Links:

Recorder Queen is suitable for secondary students of all ages, to develop their understanding and appreciation of how a film can employ a variety of techniques — including animation, compilations of the real and the imagined and reconstructions of an earlier life — to tell a story.

This documentary would appeal to students across a number of curriculum areas and from junior secondary to senior and tertiary students.

  • Students learning to play a musical instrument would find much of what we are shown of Genevieve Lacey’s life and work both recognizable and inspiring. 
  • Students of Media, and Film Studies would be engaged by the creative approach to telling a personal musical story
  • They will see how a hybrid mix of actual film of an artist performing can be enlarged and expressed in a number of other ways, using animations and other visual creations.
  • They can also deconstruct the film and explore how it actually fits into the classic narrative structure of a 'Hero’s journey'
  • Biography and Creative Arts students would also find much to enjoy and learn from in this documentary film.
  • Can a biopic ever hope to encompass many stages in an artist’s life? How important is the artist’s own contributions to the truthfulness of a story?

This film is much more than just a biopic of a musician’s life. Genevieve Lacey’s collaboration with Sophie Raymond, the filmmaker and also a musician herself, brings the story alive in a very engaging and original way. It shows the different stages of becoming a creative artist, rather than a story of a virtuoso seeking constant perfection in concert performances — ‘a decade of Vivaldi concertos played in halls across the globe’ — as Genevieve describes this part of her professional life as a recorder player.

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