Live cinema performance project exploring truth and myth across the state of New York, created in collaboration with a group of New York musicians and in dialog with Native American communities

True Fictions was the result of a year-long media art project created by film maker audio-visual artist Christopher Thomas Allen in collaboration with a range of film and musical talents that was commissioned by EMPAC, The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Centre based in the town of Troy, New York, USA in 2006. This was the first fully commissioned, feature-length live cinema work by Allen and the studio. It is a epic work that fused documentary filmmaking, music and motion graphics to co-create a story about history, myth and truth which cuts across all nationalities and cultures.

The project explored the themes of truth and myth through the collection and collaboration with a multitude of American and Native American voices. It involved the gathering of many hours of video and sound interviews, extensive traveling and research across the state of New York. It spawned an highly original folk-electronica musical score that was co-created through a unique collaboration between 25 musicians and vocal artists from New York city. Each track was created through a process of musical “exquisite corpse” where each musician was invited to add and respond to the last. These sessions where carefully recorded and filmed using IR cameras which were them mixed with live IR cameras on stage focused on live musican’s performing parts live. This blurred what was “real” and not real, recored and live on stage.

These audio-visual tracks where then edited and arrange around a series of narratives and conversations.The live performance sampled and rearranged these musical and video samples, fusing them with the documentary interviews using multiple Pioneer DVD turntables and VDMX software. This important live cinema work is a ground breaking fusion of experimental documentary film narratives, original audio-visual music into a collective but unified story about stories.

For a more detailed background about the development, production, post-production and touring of this project please visit its blog:

Live performers:

Christopher Thomas AllenAudio & Video
Ben AllenAudio & Video
Tim CowieAudio & Video
Robert Pyecroft-Rainbow Video & Analogue Operations
Jude GreenawayAudio
Mark McRaeLive Guitars & Keys
Malcolm LitsonAudio & Analogue Operations
Matt WaterfordLighting

Music & Spoken Word release:

The co-created music from this project has been released as a limited addition double vinyl record on NLS Records and is availble to buy via our shop or Bandcamp page.

Musical Contributors:

Drums:Brian Fishler, Scotty ‘Imp’ Lehman,
Rev Mofo & Pat Rock
Percussion:Rev MofoValerie Opielski & Isabel Pupo Walker
Vibraphone:Sean McCall
Flute & Saxophone:Joseph Jarman
Soprano Saxophone:Martha Hyde
Tenor Saxophone:Welf Dorr
Bass Guitar:Robbie Seahag & Jason Deiso
Electric Guitar:Laurent MedelgiValerie Opielski
& Robbie Seahag
Acoustic Guitar:Laurent Medelgi & Jo Williamson
Fiddle:Luke Cissell
Double Bass:Tom Mayer
Cello:Brent Arnold
Oud:Mavrothi Kontanis
Grand Piano:Chris Chalfant
MC’s:Atypical, DezmaticEmskee, & Nobs
Vocalists:Adrienne Hecker, Marrie Mascari,
Melanie Moser & Chanda Rule
Studio Engineer:Ben Allen


Director & Producer:Christopher Thomas Allen
Filmmakers:Christopher Thomas Allen & Robert Pyecroft-Rainbow
Camera: Christopher Thomas Allen, Robert Pyecroft-Rainbow & Helen Omand
Editing & Post-Production:Christopher Thomas Allen, James Price & Tim Cowie
Animation:Martin Banks, Tim Cowie & Blinkinlab
Audio Interviews:Christopher Thomas Allen, Robert Pyecroft-Rainbow & Jo Williamson
Assistant Producer:Annie Kwan
Research Producer:Helen Omand
NYC Production Co-ordination:Sarah Pace
Music Production:Tim Cowie
Addition Audio Production:Malcolm Litson, Mark McRae & Jude Greenaway

Special thanks to:

The Seneca-Iroquois National Museum, Salamanca
The Ronathahonni Cultural Center, Cornwall Island, Ontario
Nichols Meat Processing, Altamont, NY
David Lublin & Ray Cutler at VIDVOX
Kathleen Forde, Jason Steven Murphy, and all the staff at EMPAC

TRUE FICTIONS is an EMPAC Commission supported by The Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media & Performing Arts NY

For more video excerpts from the project please visit:

International Touring:

EMPAC, The Armour, Troy, New York, USA, September, 2007
Urban Screens Festival, The Great Hall, Manchester, UK, October, 2007
Teatro degli Arcimboldi, Milano, Italy, November, 2007
ZEMOS98 Festival, Seville, Spain, March, 2008
onedotzero festival, IMAX Cinema, BFI Southbank, London, November, 2008
Loop FestivalBrighton Pavilion, Brighton, July, 2009
TRANS Festival, Waterfront, Captalist Arts, Belfast, July, 2009
Mirowave Festival, Rotuda3, HITEC, Hong-Kong, November, 2009
Hackney Film Festival, The Others, London, September 2010
Freeform Festival, Warsaw, Poland, October, 2010
ON_OFF FestivalItau Cultral, Sao Paulo, brazil, June 2011



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