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Mongolia’s rock scene to be revealed

The small but vibrant rock music scene in Ulaanbaatar has not had much exposure on the world stage so far, but that is about to change with the upcoming release of a film titled “LIVE FROM UB.”
“LIVE FROM UB,” an exciting and informative exploration of Mongolian rock music, mixes the real time story of one band struggling to develop a new sound with expert voices from the local music industry and rare archival footage.
Emerging documentary filmmaker, Lauren Knapp, has launched an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign to raise funds and awareness for the hour-long documentary film
“I’ve already spent nearly a year in Mongolia researching and collecting footage,” says Knapp. “Now I just need funding to cover the cost of editing and distribution.”
Mongolian rock dates back to the 1970s when the communist government created the first rock band, “Soyol Erdene” (Cultural Jewel). In the 1980s the genre took on a more subversive tone as musicians used their songs to challenge the government and call for a democratic and free society, which was achieved in 1990.
Several years later MTV hit the airwaves in Mongolia, exposing a new generation of music lovers to Western rock and pop. “It was at this point that all sorts of imitation bands started appearing. You had the Mongolian Nirvana, the Mongolian Madonna, even the Mongolian Boyz II Men,” says Knapp.
But today, imitation has given way to innovation.
“The most surprising thing I discovered in the making of LIVE FROM UB was this real drive among Mongolian musicians to create music that is both new and hip but also distinctly Mongolian,” says Knapp. “It’s really important for this new generation of Mongolians to be a part of a global community without betraying their heritage, and that’s brilliant.”
Knapp first arrived in Mongolia in late fall of 2011. She lived in Ulaanbaatar interviewing major players in the Mongolian rock and pop music industry and following a few key bands.
To get a sense of the historical context from external points of view, Knapp also interviewed former U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia Jonathan Addleton and best-selling author Jack Weatherford.
The research and production for “LIVE FROM UB” was supported by a Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship. Fulbright-mtvU gives up to four awards each year, which allow individuals to study and document music in another country.
According to Knapp, a crowd-funding model like Indiegogo is the ideal way to get inputs and contributions from rock music fans while keeping her film independent. She also notes that, “A campaign like this a great way to raise the funds needed to finish the film, and get the word out about the project at the same time.”
Knapp has a degree in anthropology from Grinnell College and worked as a journalist at the PBS News Hour for four years prior to moving to Mongolia. She sees the documentary medium as an ideal way to explore anthropological themes in a way that is accessible to a broad audience.
A trailer for the film is available at the Indiegogo site: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/live-from-ub-a-documentary-film-about-mongolian-rock and the film’s website: www.livefromub.com.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=3454

Posted by on Mar 28 2013. Filed under Entertainment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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