32 Sounds is an immersive documentary and profound sensory experience from filmmaker Sam Green that explores the elemental phenomenon of sound. The film is a meditation on the power of sound to bend time, cross borders, and open our perception to the world around us. The documentary is designed for a live audience, complete with individual headphones for each audience member to better immerse themselves in the film’s soundscapes, and features live narration by Sam Green and live original music by JD Samson and Michael O’Neill.
Sam Green (director, writer, editor) is a New York-based documentary filmmaker. Green’s most recent live documentaries include A Thousand Thoughts (with the Kronos Quartet) (2018), The Measure of All Things (2014), The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller (with Yo La Tengo) (2012), and Utopia in Four Movements (2010). With all of these works, Green narrates the film in-person while musicians perform a live soundtrack. Green’s 2004 feature-length film, The Weather Underground, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, screened at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, was nominated for an Academy Award, included in the Whitney Biennial, and has screened widely around the world.
JD Samson (composer, performer) is best known as leader of the band MEN and for being one-third of the electronic-feminist-punk band and performance project Le Tigre. For more than a decade Samson’s career as a visual artist, musician, producer, and DJ has landed her at the intersection of music, art, activism, and fashion. She has toured the world, produced songs for Grammy award winning artists, written for publications such as The Huffington Post, Talkhouse, and Creative Time Review, created multimedia artwork, hosted documentary programs, acted, modeled, and engaged in direct support with a wide-range of progressive social and political causes. Samson is now an Assistant Arts Professor at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.
Michael O’Neill (performer) is a queer artist whose work spans from traditional live music and record releases to conceptual performances and interdisciplinary art. He was a founding member of MEN, a collaborative project led by JD Samson whose focus is the radical potential of dance music. MEN has performed extensively across the world including performances at Coachella and SF MOMA. In the art duo Princess, he has co-produced two concept video albums that premiered at the Andy Warhol Museum and were later performed at institutions such as the MIT List Visual Arts Center and the New Museum. Michael has also been a member of The Ladybug Transistor, CRICKETS and even a Grateful Dead tribute band — High Time.
Commissioned by Stanford Live, Stanford University; The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi; Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Institute of Technology; Green Music Center of Sonoma State University; Arizona Arts Live at University of Arizona; and developed through a creative residency at MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Presented in partnership with the Ann Arbor Film Festival and the UM Arts Initiative. Series presenting partners: Detroit Public Television and PBS Books. Media partner: Michigan Radio.
In accordance with the University of Michigan’s Standard Practice Guidelines on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series does not censor our speakers or their content. The content provided is intended for adult audiences and does not reflect the views of the University of Michigan or Detroit Public Television.