What does it take to make it as a professional musician, and what does art matter for anyway?
That's some pretty deep shit, but it's exactly the soul-searching mission Red Bull's new film What Difference Does it Make? undertakes.
Directed by upstart film-maker Raf Schmerberg, interestingly hand-picked for the project by the Red Bull Music Academy participants, the 95-minute flick follows the 2013 class around New York City from their first days in the program to their final performances, countered heavily by interviews with such musical juggernauts at Brian Eno, Nile Rodgers, James Murphy, Giorgio Moroder and a lot more.
We got the chance to catch a screening at Blackbird Ordinary earlier this week, and while some criticized the film for a lack of technical background, it's just about perfect for music fans looking to geek out. You mean you've got legendary icons waxing poetic about the creative lifestyle? Sign us up.
The film is rather seamlessly broken into different sections with supporting commentary throughout. Audiences are lead through the artistic journey, beginning with the decisive moment wherein one chooses to "be an artist," through to the end result of either financial or simply creative success. Along the way, we explore the hardships, decisions and temptations a musician inevitably faces, while taking a surface-level look at life in the RBMA.
Because Red Bull is nice, they're streaming the film for free online. We're sure they'd also like you to remember that applications are currently being accepted for the RBMA 2014 class. It's free to apply, and if you get in, you'll have the experience of a lifetime in Tokyo, Japan. Whatever your shitty job is, you can take the two weeks.
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And if you still haven't had enough RBMA, come out to celebrate five years of the Electric Pickle with a special set from Theo Parrish in his first Miami appearance Saturday, Feb. 21. The event is presented in part by RBMA, because clearly, there is no escape - not that there's anything wrong with that.
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Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.