ACL 2016: RZA - Live from the 36th Chamber of Shaolin
RZA kicked off a huge two weeks in Austin last night with the world premiere of his live scoring of the 1978 classic "The 36th Chamber of Shaolin". The film was a staple of the Wu Tang Clan growing up and they have taken samples from the film and incorporated into their music since day one. The live scoring was an idea that initially came up a year before when RZA was in town for Fantastic Fest and apparently had the idea after a little too much Mescal with the FF staff. Once the buzz wore off though the idea still seemed like a good one and he began to incorporate classic Wu Tang tracks into the film and worked out how the scoring would be done live. The crowd at the State Theater was the first to see this live and it took the first 20 minutes to get in a flow but once he found his rhythm RZA transformed the film into something special. He took tracks from every Clan member and applied it carefully to match certain tones of the film, from intense opening credits layered with "Triumph" off Wu Tang Forever to funnier scenes mixed with "Old Man" from Masta Killa and Ol' Dirty Bastard you can tell he put a lot of thought into the soundtrack. What admirable is that standing up for two hours straight and scoring a film is no easy task and is a testament to how passionate RZA is to showing respect to a genre of films that shaped him as a producer and as a director. There is only one more live scoring in the near future that will take place at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles on October 10th (SOLD OUT). RZA will continue his trip to Austin with performances at Austin City Limits with his new project Banks and Steelz with Paul Banks of Interpol.