Hear ye! Hear ye! You are invited to be part of this year’s virtual Backwards March for KlezKanada’s 2020 summer retreat.
The Backwards March, a tradition brought to KlezKanada by theatre artist Jenny Romaine and folklorist Itzik Gottesman, has become the centerpiece of each summer’s retreat. Itzik brought a first-hand account from a Yiddish actor named Arye Leysh who grew up in a Romanian town called Stănișești. In the1920-30’s all the members of the community would gather by a large body of water and walk backwards together toward town singing a melody to usher in the sabbath and to welcome in the shabes queen.
“Its form is elegant. What a delight and opportunity to stage something so ingenious with the whole intergenerational community. The “Backwards Walk” was an ethnographic re-enactment. It was live art in real space.” Jenny Romaine
This summer, while we cannot be together at Camp B’nai Brith, we will be closing our virtual festival with a digital Backwards March, and we would love you to be involved! This is open and encouraged for anyone who has ever been to KlezKanada’s Summer Retreat in the past and anyone who might be at the Retreat in the future. Let’s all march backwards together!
Instructions for participating in the KlezKanada 2020 Virtual Backwards March
Participating is easy! Just follow the steps outlined below, and you will be good to go.
The basic idea is to create a video and audio montage of our extended KlezKanada family playing and marching to the theme you all know. This montage will be broadcast side by side with a live feed of KlezKanada 2020 participants as well. We’re so excited to be able to include as many people in the extended KlezKanada family in this project.
Here is a download of both a chart for the song, and an audio guide track. The audio guide track has the melody repeated three times. Normally there is a mix of tempos happening at the same time, in a very Ives-ian fashion, so we’ve settled on the medium tempo of quarter note at 84 BPM. The track has a metronome click included.
What we need from you is a video of you performing the song along with the guide track provided. You can be playing an instrument. You can send multiple takes on different instruments. You can be singing. You can be moving, or you can be still. If you have someone to film you, you can play or sing while marching backwards (please be safe and don’t fall!). Also good would be videos of feet walking/marching backwards. If you want to send videos with even more movement that’s also great, but please keep it in the spirit of the backwards march, and please make sure that at least one take you send is stationary (to get steady audio!)
In order to get the best, cleanest audio, try to be in a relatively quiet space (indoor is great – outdoors is ok, but if there’s a storm consider filming indoors), and be anywhere from 12-20 inches from your recording device (laptop, smart phone, tablet etc….). **MAKE SURE to be wearing headphones to listen to the guide track, so that your audio is isolated. (If you are the recording engineer type, and would like to provide a separate audio track, that would be great.)
As for your video, you can film on your smart phone (preferred), tablet or laptop. Make sure your device is filming HORIZONTALLY. If you have frame rate options on your device, please choose 30 fps. If your device has the option to record in 4K, please DON’T choose this setting. Keeping these files small is very much preferred.
Lastly, take note that anything that is on your video may end up in this montage, so please make sure that everyone in your video is aware of this, and that it’s all kosher!
Michael and the rest of our team are excited to see all your contributions!