ABOUT THE PROJECT
Root of Fire is a multimedia series dedicated to showcasing Louisiana roots music. The project currently spans one feature length documentary about several contemporary Cajun artists called “Roots of Fire” that is screening on the festival circuit, one short documentary about accordion prodigy Andre Thierry called “California Creole”, several bite sized interview pieces with various artists including Nathan Williams Jr, Terrance Simien, Sunpie Barnes, and other musicians (which we call “digital shorts”), and a growing number of live performance pieces, which include spots with Lil Nate, Pine Leaf Boys, Feufollet, T’Monde, and Bonsoir, Catin that are available across various social media platforms.
At the core of the Roots of Fire project is a drive to capture amazing stories in the world of South Louisiana roots music. Another goal of ours is to share those stories in a style that will appeal to audiences outside of Louisiana, while hopefully growing the fan bases of both Cajun and Zydeco music. Through that lens, the (first) feature length Roots of Fire documentary is one piece of a growing Roots of Fire tapestry. It is the first of what we hope are many feature length (and additional short) documentaries in the world of Louisiana French music. The next film will be focused more on the Creole side of the spectrum in the world of Zydeco music.
When we started this project, and more specifically what would become this first feature length documentary we were incredibly interested in ethnicity in the world of Louisiana French music, particularly the areas where Cajun and Zydeco music blend, diverge, and how racial history in Louisiana influenced that. We also had a lot of interest in how Native Americans influenced Louisiana French music. We are still very much interested in those stories, and hope to explore them in future Roots of Fire works.
For the first Roots of Fire film, we put the spotlight on a small section of the Cajun music scene around Lafayette, Louisiana. It is not our intention to make an authoritative work on Cajun music, its vibrant history, or even its contemporary diaspora. We wanted to make something that was authentic to our sensibilities, entertaining, and feels like a window into this colorful artistic community. We feel that the artists in our first Roots of Fire film are incredible, entertaining, inspiring, articulate, and provide a welcome introduction into the world of Cajun music for future (and current) fans. We aim to take the audience for a ride through this neighborhood of the cajun music world, and hopefully wet their appetite for much more exploration. We also wanted to make a film that was very music forward, and devoted as much running time as we could justify to hearing (and feeling) the actual music. At the end of the day, experiencing Cajun and Zydeco music live is the best way to consume it. From day one of this project it has been our goal to capture that experience as faithfully as possible.