In the documentary feature Mind Exchange Music presents: The Showcase, a performance is given in one day. This performance is composed of several pieces that range from the vocal-based to instruments-only songs that are framed under a concept that’s never quite revealed in the documentary. I always felt there was more than just a presentation of a cool idea that works under an artistic approach that’s similar to something we’ve seen in the past. What this collective of musicians are doing is extremely original, yet it’s supposed to sound like a familiar idea.
It’s a strange take. But it’s something I deeply felt during some of the performances. I was bearing witness to an indisputable talent, one that’s comparable to that of the best singers of an industry that’s not very friendly with newcomers. However, there’s a backdrop of technical knowledge and expertise that makes the music of Mind Exchange Music something unique.
The documentary is a broad presentation of their music, its execution and who actually makes everything happen. Their testimonies are driven by an urge to tell stories through sound, and even though this isn’t happening on any mainstream level, you can’t help but celebrate this artistic display.
Sometimes, the film also feels too linear and simple. The driving force is the music, yes, but documentaries about artists are supposed to show you more than what you can simply see. In The Showcase, there’s a fantastic collection of artists showing what they do best, but documentaries must also be compelling and show the human side behind a near-perfect sound.
Trust me. Your mind will be blown in a third act that mixes visuals and sound in this very cool montage that’s original and beautiful. And some of the voices are impressive. You will want to know more about them.
But The Showcase feels also like a commercial for a product that’s perhaps not as relevant for many. And perhaps it’s supposed to be like that. The film is a sensorial experience that goes beyond a traditional narrative and structure. It’s rich in material if you only connect with the world of music in film, and as an aid in effective storytelling.