Blake Leyh of “Treme” and “The Wire”: Sceening and Moderated Discussion with Author John Swenson

blakeleyhDate: Friday, October 14th
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $5
Night Three of the New Atlantis 2020 Series

Tonight, join Blake Leyh-musical supervisor for the HBO’s Treme and The Wire- for night three of Observatory’s New Atlantis Series. Leyh will screen excerpts from his favorite episodes of Treme, and will converse with John Swenson, author of New Atlantis: Musicians Battle for the Survival of New Orleans, about the music and musicians featured in Treme and in New Atlantis.

Blake Leyh is a Composer, Sound Designer, and Music Supervisor for the HBO series Treme. Born in New York but raised in England until age fifteen, Leyh began his musical explorations at the age of ten, playing accordion and guitar and composing songs with a street theater troupe in London. He had a solo operatic role at the age of 13, and sang with the Buckinghamshire Youth Choir, where he learned to sight-read music and began voice training.

After moving to California in 1978, Leyh studied at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he played in several punk bands, as well as the Avant Garde Pop band Bande à Part. Leyh spent four years splicing tape, programming Moog and Buchla synthesizers, mastering the recording studio, and making 16mm films, in an independent major program of Electronic Music and The Cinema.

In 1983 Leyh moved to Los Angeles. After working on various low budget and independent films during the mid-eighties, he was hired in 1988 by James Cameron as the Sound Designer on The Abyss, which he worked on full-time for a year. The film was nominated for a Best Sound Academy Award, and Leyh won an MPSE Golden Reel award for his work.

In the early nineties Leyh turned his attention back to music and has since composed scores for more than a dozen feature films, including B-Movie schlock classics (American Cyborg), challenging independent dramas (Star Time), and award-winning documentaries (Twist Of Faith). In 1996 Leyh composed the score for the Sundance Jury Prize-winning documentary SICK: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist, which marked the beginning of a long term collaboration with filmmaker Kirby Dick.

In 2001 Leyh became the music supervisor on HBO’s dramatic series The Wire. Music supervising requires a deep knowledge of many styles of music, in addition to a thorough understanding of music licensing and copyright, and Leyh found he was uniqely suited for the task. He has since music supervised several independent features, all five seasons of The Wire, and the first two seasons of Treme. Blake also produced the latest album by Treme contributor Davis Rogan, The Real Davis.

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