Tecumseh Fitch is an evolutionary biologist and cognitive scientist. He is Professor of Cognitive Biology at the University of Vienna. He talks us through the different components of human and non-human musicality, their evolutionary history, and explains the most relevant theories that have been proposed to understand the forces that drive the evolution of music. He is one of the most prominent living researchers on the field of Evolutionary Biology.
Dr. Iain Morley
A respected anthropologist from Oxford University, specialised in the evolution of human music, walks us back to our forebears, to understand when our musical abilities were present as we see them today, and how they got to change within our species through the last couple million years. He as well gives us an insight on other elements of human musicality, as are synchronisation, and the deep relation that musical and ritual activities share.
Dr. Stefan Koelsch
Prof. in Biological Psychology and Music Psychology Dr. Stefan Koelsch from the University of Bergen, on the other hand, guides us through the neural mechanisms that are activated by musical activities, the emotional responses we experience and their implications, as well as the differences in how the brain of musicians works, compared to those of non-musicians.
Dr. Dario Martinelli
Chief Research Officer of the Lithuanian Research Council, known for his works on the field of Zoomusicology, shares his thoughts on the musical abilities of many other animals, as those of songbirds, whales or gibbons and helps us to understand how music is a widespread phenomenon all over the animal kingdom.
Toby Harper is the voice that guides us in our quest for "The Origins of Music". An expirienced and sought after actor with a degree in Anthropology from Durham University, he has worked with many awarded directors of the stature of Jane Campion or Tom Tykwer.
Alberto N.A. Turra
Alberto is a multifaceted musician deeply appreciated in the Italian musical scene. For many years he has alternated his guitarist work with that of composer (for the cinema, theater and contemporary dance) together with that of band leader with Kabikoff (math-core), Turbogolfer (jazz-avant-core), International Troubadours (jazz-free) and more. His arrengement of the Ravel's Bolero for "The Origins of Music" is one of the highlights of this project.
Sought after for her exceptional improvisational skills, tap dance artist Roxane Butterfly has been a leading figure on the world tap stage for the last two decades (both in America and Europe). Very first woman to win a Bessie Award in the history of tap, in 1998. Baptized “Butterfly” by legendary Jimmy Slyde in the early nineties, she is the only European woman who has had a recognized tap career in America and to have received high marks of artistic distinction such as a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006.
The traditional and modern music of his country, as well as the music of the west coast of Africa, and Central Africa, have had a deep influence on Mu Mbana. He has collaborated with the great saxofonist and singer Manu Dibango, with the awarded cellist Sasha Agranov, and American singer Kathy Autrey.
The collective was founded in 2005 by Marcos Morau and has performed in many of the most prestigious Dance events around the world.
The fragments included in this project were part of the reharsals for the piece Islandia.
Traditional Marquesian dance group Kaikai'a, or "cannibals" from the valley of Hakahetau in the island of Ua Pou, executed two of their most characteristic performances for "The Origins of Music", the Cannibal dance and the Bird dance.
For this documentary, renowed Persian Tombak player Massud Naderi performed an electrifying duo with Malian percussionist Baba Maiga.
Matthias Hanke works as a musician in the Martinskirche Sindelfingen (near Stuttgart ) and is a singer in the church district of Böblingen. In 2003 the bishop of Munich granted him the title of director of church music.
For this project, we documented the preparation of Mozart's Requiem, presented at the 47th International Festival of Choir Music in Barcelona.
In South Africa, she directs the Polokwane Choral Society since 1986. The choir has won many prizes at national music competitions and eisteddfods and have toured in North America and Europe. She directed the choirs of the 47th International Festival of Choir Music in Barcelona into traditional South African songs, documented for this movie at the Palau de la Música de Barcelona.
Italian singer and songwriter Sarah Demagistri has been often celebrated for her powerful voice and meaningful compositions. Among the personalities whith whom she has performed and collaborated we can mention Giovanni Venosta, Ivano Fossati, La Crus, Moni Ovadia, Lele Battista, Gianluca de Angelis, Yuri Beretta, Masbedo, Howie B and many more. For this movie, she performed a beautiful cover of "Blue Velvet".
Israeli cellist Sasha Agranov has performed around the globe for many years. Opening act for the Rolling Stones at the Museo Nacional de Arte de Catalunya (with his duo "Selva de mar"), he has also collaborated with documentarists Marta Gonzalez and Hertog-Nadler.