Well into their fourth decade, experimental music trio Borbetomagus remain for the musically adventurous an ear-blistering and essential listening experience. With saxophonists Don Dietrich and Jim Sauter in New York and guitarist Donald Miller in New Orleans, that experience is one caught live on one of the band’s European tours or occasional U.S. one-offs and mini tours. But now moviegoers will have a chance to take in some of Borbetomagus’s impact with A Pollock of Sound, Jef Mertens’s documentary about the band. With commentary from, among others, writer Byron Coley and Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore, the documentary should place in context a group that has pursued a pure, undiluted vision of free music over the years.
Screenings are set for Brooklyn’s Spectacle Theater in October, and Seattle’s Grand Illusion and London’s Close-Up Film Center in November.
(Full disclosure: somewhere, in some drawer or shoebox, there likely exists a cassette tape of me twiddling the knobs of an old Korg MS20 synth alongside Borbetomagus many, many years ago at an upstate New York mental facility.)