90 min | 5×25 min | interactive website | mobile application
Canada | 2015
Director of digital storytelling experience
Songs of Freedom is a 90-minute film, 4-part TV series, interactive website and mobile application starring internationally acclaimed Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman in a stylistic blend of musical performance, historical documentary and personal journey.
In the film and TV series, produced and directed by Barbara Willis Sweete, Measha performs an intensely powerful and spiritual collection of ‘Freedom Songs’ that emerged from Africa via the slave trade to America, then to Canada via the United Empire Loyalist migration and the Underground Railroad.
Under the musical direction of Aaron Davis, Songs of Freedom’s score includes 18 freedom songs like Amazing Grace, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Go Tell it on the Mountain and Go Down Moses, and features the Nova Scotia Mass Choir conducted by Marko Simmonds, the Ebenezar Choir of Cameroon, and introduces the charismatic Cameroon vocalist Sanzy Viany.
Songs of Freedom Interactive
Produced alongside the series and 90-minute film is the Songs of Freedom website and mobile interactive songbook application (iPad and iPhone) both of which are centered around Measha’s full-length performances of 10 Freedom Songs as seen in the feature film and TV series.
The engaging, in-depth website, produced by DEEP Inc. features exciting, personal, and informative written contributions from experts and participants featured throughout the film. Viewers can learn more about topics such as the history of the slave trade, African American Spiritual music, and black communities in Maritime Canada. They can also read contributions of musicians and singers from Canada and Cameroon, and Measha’s own personal account of her genealogical discovery. Inextricably linking all of the content throughout the Songs of Freedom website are beautiful, elaborate music videos of Measha’s freedom song performances.
Audiences can also sing along with all of Measha’s performances on the Songs of Freedom 360° mobile app through a feature that generates synchronized lyrics. Experience the absolute power evoked in Measha’s one-of-a-kind voice as she sings in spectacular Canadian and Cameroonian landscapes. An exclusive feature for online and mobile users is the interactive music performances that have been recorded live on location in Cameroon, Nova Scotia and Ontario, using a 360° spherical camera. This user-controlled technology allows the audience to watch Measha’s performances from every direction as if they were actually there standing beside her.
© Stephanie Weimar 2020