The Curse and the Symphony (2013) – By Philip Smolen

“The Curse and the Symphony” tells the story of musician Nathan Felix and his long struggle to get his first symphony recorded by a professional orchestra. As a young man, Nathan performed as a rock musician and a member of the indie-rock band The Noise Revival Orchestra. Back in 2006 Nathan’s passions were stirred by classical music and he had the idea of writing a full symphony. There was only one problem; Nathan had no classical music training. Undaunted, he poured all his energies into his new found passion and eventually finished it. Called “The Curse the Cross & the Lion”, Nathan’s completed symphony now needed a voice. He had to find an orchestra to record it. After being rejected by literally dozens of professional orchestras, a dejected Nathan and his friend/producer Eric Wofford found a sympathetic ear with New York/Portuguese conductor Andre Lousada. After many more rejections, the trio eventually found an orchestra at the State University of New York who was willing to record the piece. There was only one problem: they could only spare two days to practice and record the symphony. The entire six movement work had to be completed in that allotted time!

This is a marvelous short film about an amazing musical journey. From the first shot in the film, we are drawn in to Nathan’s passion and intensity. His emotions are plainly on display as he encounters frustration and ultimately joy during the practice and recording sessions with the orchestra. Watching Nathan’s hopes play out as the clock slowly ticks down to the end of the recording session is positively riveting. The film is open and honest and lets us share in Nathan’s emotional peaks and valleys as we watch his musical passion/obsession play out.

This film is about the pure joy and hope that music brings to the soul. Earnestly directed by David Schulte, “The Curse and the Symphony” is a heartfelt tribute to the struggling musician.

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