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Note By Note

NOTE BY NOTE: The making of Steinway L1037

http://www.notebynotethemovie.com/

Directed by Ben Niles
2007, 80 minutes

Click on links below to view trailer:

  Connection Size
Trailer High Speed 7.5 Mb

In our age of mass-production and consumption, what is the role of the musician—both an instrument’s craftsman and its player? Musically, what have we gained? More importantly, what are we losing?

The most thoroughly handcrafted instruments in the world, Steinway pianos are as unique and full of personality as the world-class musicians who play them. However, their makers are a dying breed: skilled cabinetmakers, gifted tuners, thorough hand-crafters.

Note By Note is a feature-length independent documentary that follows the creation of a Steinway concert grand, #L1037— from forest floor to concert hall. It explores the relationship between musician and instrument, chronicles the manufacturing process, and illustrates what makes each Steinway unique in this age of mass production. From the factory floor in Queens to Steinway Hall in Manhattan, each piano’s journey is complex—spanning 12 months, 12,000 parts, 450 craftsmen, and countless hours of fine-tuned labor. Filmed in key Steinway locations—the factory, Steinway’s reserved “Bank,” and private auditions—Note By Note is a loving celebration of not just craftsmanship, but of a dying breed of person who is deeply connected to working by hand. In the end, this is an ode to the most unexpected, and perhaps ironic, of unsung heroes. It reminds us how extraordinary the dialogue can be between an artist and an instrument—crafted out of human hands but borne of the materials of nature.

REVIEWS

"Like an elegant set of theme and variations, director Ben Niles' beautiful, probing documentary about music and craftsmanship takes a simple idea and follows it in a number of directions."

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"gorgeously composed and photographed...capable of inducing spiritual/physical rapture"

LOS ANGELES TIMES

With its precise editing and thoughtful storytelling, "Note by Note" is a celebration of craftsmanship- of a piano and of film.

SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

"a documentary as harmonious as it is fascinating...rests at a nexus of hand, heart and mind. It's a gorgeous picture, visually and musically...superb."

CHARLESTON POST AND COURIER

"a lovely documentary on one of the last holdouts in a techno-centric world"

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE

"full of surprising thrills"

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW

"A heartwarming story about the universality of music"

HOUSTON CHRONICLE

"Recommended...both calming and engaging"

PORTLAND MERCURY

****"inspirational to watch"

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

"classy and unexpectedly moving"

THE OREGONIAN

"a masterly composition of eye and ear, hand and heart, labor and music."

CHICAGO SUN TIMES

"a look at people whose hands, eyes, hearts and minds all work together... together they assemble one of the world's most wonderful man-made things."

HARTFORD COURANT

"a love letter to a vanishing mode of production,

with more than a hint of elegy."
THE BOSTON GLOBE

*****"....engrossing"

TIME OUT CHICAGO

"skillfully and adoringly made...a love song to the instrument responsible for so many."

REAL DETROIT WEEKLY

"Ben Niles' Note by Note is a beauty...a lovely adventure."

NEW CITY CHICAGO

"in their meticulous attention to detail, the blue-collar workers seem just as artistic as any musician."

CHICAGO READER

"They say that every piano has a soul; if only every movie had one as warm and rich as Note by Note."

DETROIT METRO TIMES

"a tribute to the superiority of human craftsmanship over mass production and a celebration of art over pure commercialism."

OKLAHOMA GAZETTE

"...a paean to the rewards of old-fashioned      craftsmanship."

-NEW YORK TIMES

"a Miracle--Beethoven would have been pleased."

-THE NEW REPUBLIC

"fascinating and delightful."

-SALON

"remarkably absorbing."

-NEW YORK MAGAZINE

****"....essentially New York."

-TIME OUT NEW YORK

"engrossing! a stirring symphony of specialized labor."

-VILLAGE VOICE

"a sure bet for music lovers."

-TVGUIDE.COM

"delightful."

-NY POST

"a distinct pleasure."

-THE WASHINGTON POST

"Ben Niles approaches his subject con amore."

-VARIETY

"a fascinating documentary that more than just piano lovers can enjoy."

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

"it’s the craftspeople and their work, and the pianos themselves, that are the real stars."

THE PHOENIX

  
Online Press Kit (PDF 512 KB)  
Stills (hi-res)  



official selection

SILVERDOCS

film festival

WINNER

BEST DOCUMEMNTARY

SARASOTA FF

official selection

AMSTERDAM INT'L

film festival

official selection

NANTUCKET

film festival

   

 

RECENT SCREENINGS

November 7-20, 2007
Film Forum - New York, NY
http://www.filmforum.org/

November 23-30, 2007 (selected screenings)

Two Boots Pioneer Theater - New York, NY

http://www.twoboots.com/pioneer/

December 9,16, 23, 25, 30, 2007 (All shows 4pm only)

January 1, 2008
Symphony Space (Leonard Nimoy Thalia)– New York, NY http://www.symphonyspace.org/

December 31, 2007
First Night Film Festival Boston - Boston, MA
http://www.firstnight.org/FirstNight2008/Events/Evening.aspx?id=74

January 2, 2008

Cinema Arts Centre - Huntington, NY

http://www.cinemaartscentre.org/

Director Ben Niles in person January 2

January 19-20, 2008

Oklahoma City Museum of Art - Oklahoma City, OK

http://www.okcmoa.com

January 18-24, 2008

Gene Siskel Film Center - Chicago, IL

http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/

January 3, 4, 9,12, 24, 27 2008

Museum of Fine Arts-Boston, MA

http://www.mfa.org/

Director Ben Niles in person January 3

January 26, 27, 2008
Upstate Films - Rhinebeck, NY 
http://www.upstatefilms.com/index.php

Dir. Ben Niles in person January 26

January 31, 2008

Detroit Institute of Arts - Detroit, MI

http://www.dia.org

February 1, 3 2008

Cleveland Museum of Art - Cleveland, OH

http://www.clevelandart.org/

January 25-February 7, 2008

Real Art Ways - Hartford, CT

http://www.realartways.org/

January 25-February 21, 2008
The Screen - Santa Fe, NM
http://thescreen.csf.edu/

February 1-6, 2008
Ross Media Arts Center - Lincoln, NE
http://www.theross.org/coming_soon.php

Feb 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 2008

The Times Cinema- Milwaukee, WI
http://www.timescinema.com/

February 13, 2008

Cinema Society of San Diego - San Diego, CA

http://www.cinemasociety.com

Director Ben Niles in person

Screening open to Cinema Society & La Jolla Music Society members only.

February 15-17, 2008
Webster University Film Series - St. Louis, MO

http://www.webster.edu/filmseries/index.htm

February 22-28, 2008

North West Film Forum – Seattle, WA

http://www.nwfilmforum.org/

February 29-March 2, 2008
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston – Houston, TX
http://www.mfah.org/

February 29-March 13, 2008

Hollywood Theatre – Portland, OR

http://www.hollywoodtheatre.org

March 15, 200Maine International Film Festival - Waterville, ME

http://www.miff.org/

Held Over!

March 14-22, 2008
Pittsburgh Filmmakers - Pittsburgh, PA
http://www.pghfilmmakers.org/

 

March 21-30, 2008
Green Mountain Film Festival - Montpelier, VT
http://www.greenmountainfilmfestival.org

March 22, 28, 29, 2008
George Eastman House - Rochester, NY
http://www.eastmanhouse.org/

March 22-31, 2008
Varsity Theater - Vancover, British Columbia

http://www.vifc.org/

April 1-4, 2008
Honolulu Academy of Arts/ Doris Duke Theatre - Honolulu, HI
http://www.honoluluacademy.org

April 3-6, 2008

Wisconsin Film Festiva l- Madison, WI

http://www.wifilmfest.org/

April 4-10, 2008

Lake Worth Playhouse, Lake Worth, FL

http://www.lakeworthplayhouse.org/index2.html

April 4-10, 2008
Rose Theatre - Port Townsend, WA
http://www.rosetheatre.com/

April 6, 8, 10, 2008
Circle Cinema - Tulsa, OK
http://www.circlecinema.com/
Director Ben Niles in Person April 6

April 11-13, 2008

Theatre N At Nemours-Wilmington, DE

http://www.theatren.org/index2.html

April 11-17, 2008
Bryn Mawr Film Institute - Bryn Mawr, PA
http://www.brynmawrfilm.org/

Back By Popular Demand!

April 11-17 , 2008

Gene Siskel Film Center - Chicago, IL

http://www.siskelfilmcenter.org/

April 17, 2008
Hallwalls Contemporary Arts CenterBuffalo, NY
http://www.hallwalls.org/

April 18, 19, 2008

Wexner Center for the Arts - Columbus, OH
http://www.wexarts.org

April 18-20, 2008
Bill Cosford Cinema - Coral Gables, FL
http://com.miami.edu/cosford/

April 18-24, 2008

Laemmle's Music Hall - Los Angeles, CA

http://www.laemmle.com/viewtheatre.php?thid=4

April 18-24, 2008
Terrace Theatre - Charleston, SC
http://www.terracetheater.com/

April 24-27, 2008

Cinema Paradiso, Fort Lauderdale, FL

http://www.fliff.com/cinemaparadiso.asp

April 26-28 & 30, 2008
Beach Theatre - St. Pete Beach, FL
http://www.beachtheatre.com

April 30, 2008
Beverly Arts Center - Chicago, IL
http://www.beverlyartcenter.org/

April 30-May 5, 2008

Frontier Cafe, Cinema and Gallery-Brunswick, ME

http://www.explorefrontier.com/

May 4-5, 2008
Proctor's-Schenectady, New York
http://www.proctors.org/

May 6-8, 2008
Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center- New Orleans, LAhttp://www.zeitgeistinc.net/

May 8-11, 2008
Retro Cinema & Books- Washington, GA.
http://www.retrocinema.net/

Back By Popular Demand!May 3, 10, 15, 17, 18, 2008
Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, MA

http://www.mfa.org/

May 9-15, 2008
Cedar Lee Theater - Solon, OH
http://www.clevelandcinemas.com

May 11, 16, 18, 23, 25
Mountain Cinema- Hunter, NY.
http://www.catskillmtn.org/

May 16-22, 2008
Tropic Cinema- Key West, FL.
http://keywestfilm.org/Films2006/ballet_russes.html

May 17, 2008
Jarvis Conservatory- Napa, CA
http://www.jarvisconservatory.com/

May 18, 2008
Nevada Museum of Art - Reno, NV

http://www.nevadaart.org/

June 8, 2008
State Theatre--State College, PA
http://www.thestatetheatre.org/

Director Ben Niles in person

HELD OVER FOR 2ND WEEK

May 30-June 12th, 2008
Sundance Kabuki Theatre--San Francisco, CA

http://www.sundancecinemas.com/kabuki.html

Director Ben Niles in person May 30

Pianist Richard Glazier performs May 30.

June 6-12, 2008
Beach Theatre - Cape May, NJ
http://beachtheatre.org/

HELD OVER FOR 3RD WEEK

May 30-June 19th, 2008

Rafael Film Center-- San Rafael, CA

http://cafilm.org/nav0_2.html

Director Ben Niles in person June 1st.

Pianist Richard Glazier performs June 1st.

June 22 & 23, 2008
Nickelodeon Theatre - Columbia, SC
http://www.nickelodeon.org/

HELD OVER--check website for weekend playdates

June 6-26, 2008
Tivoli Manor Square Theater - Kansas City, MO
http://www.tivolikc.com/

June 28-July 3, 2008
IOKA Theatre- Exeter, NH.
http://www.iokaentertainment.com/

July 2 & 3, 2008

Belcourt Theater - Nashville, TN

http://www.belcourt.org/

June 20-July 10, 2008

Broadway Centre Cinemas - Salt Lake City, UT

http://www.saltlakefilmsociety.org/

July 11-17,2008
Myrna Loy Center - Helena, MT
http://www.myrnaloycenter.com/

July 14, 2008
Jane Pickens Theater- Newport, RI
http://www.janepickens.com/

July 18-31, 2008

Denver Film Society - Denver, CO

http://www.denverfilm.org/

July 18, 2008
Chautauqua Cinema - Chautauqua, N.Y.
http://www.uniplexcinemas.com/Chautauqua/CinemaPage.html

July 19, 2008

Desert Film Society - Palm Springs, CA

http://desertfilmsociety.com/

July 20, 2008

Farrelli's Cinema Dinner Theatre--Scottsdale, AZ

http://www.farrellis.com/

July 20 & 21, 2008
Michigan Theater--Ann Arbor, MI
http://michtheater.org/

July 20-22, 2008
Kimball Theater - Williamsburg, VA
http://www.kimballtheatre.com/visit/eventsAndExhibits/kimballTheatre

July 18 & 23, 2008
Cornell Cinema - Ithaca, NY
http://cinema.cornell.edu/

July 24, 2008
Lake Placid Center for the Arts - Lake Placid, NY
http://www.lakeplacidarts.org/

August 28, 2008
Wood Theater - Glen Falls, NY
http://www.woodtheater.org

September 26, 2008

Tallahassee Film Society, FL

http://s200093653.onlinehome.us/tfshome/

October 2 , 2008
Colonial Theatre- Pittsfield, MA.

http://www.thecolonialtheatre.org/

October 5, 2005
Enzian Theater - Maitland, FL
http://www.enzian.org/

October 11, 2008

AFI Silver - Silver Spring, MD

http://www.afi.com/silver/new/

October 12, 2008

Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center--Scottsdale, AZ

http://www.vosjcc.org/ 

October 2 , 2008
Colonial Theatre- Pittsfield, MA.

http://www.thecolonialtheatre.org/

October 5, 2005
Enzian Theater - Maitland, FL
http://www.enzian.org/

October 11, 2008

AFI Silver - Silver Spring, MD

http://www.afi.com/silver/new/

October 12, 2008

Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center--Scottsdale, AZ

http://www.vosjcc.org/ 

October 10-16, 2008
Jacob Burns Film Center - Pleasantville, NY
http://www.burnsfilmcenter.org/

October 26 & 29, 2008
Sound Unseen Festival - Minneapolis, MN
http://www.soundunseen.com/2008

November 13, 2008
Cinema Arts Centre - Huntington, NY
http://www.cinemaartscentre.org

November 14 & 16, 2008

Tallahassee Film Society - Tallahassee, FL

http://www.tallahasseefilms.com/

November 21-23, 2008

Midland Center for the Arts - Midland, MI

http://www.mcfta.org/

November 21 & 23, 2008

Sonoma Film Institute - Sonoma, CA

http://www.sonoma.edu/sfi/

December 27, 2008
George Eastman House - Rochester, NY
http://www.eastmanhouse.org/

With L1037

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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