Special screening of Southern roots music documentary 'Awake, My Soul: The Story of the Sacred Harp'

If you're a fan of American roots music, The Greater Park Circle Film Society will be screening a documentary that's right up your alley on April 23rd.

Awake My Soul: The Story of the Sacred Harp is a feature documentary that explores the history, music, and traditions of Sacred Harp singing, the oldest surviving American music.

Here's a description of the film from The Film Society's website:

This haunting music has survived over 200 years tucked away from sight in the rural deep south, where in old wooden country churches, devoted singers break open The Sacred Harp, a shape note hymnal first published in Georgia in 1844. These singers have inherited The Sacred Harp and its traditions from those who came before them and preserved these fierce yet beautiful songs, many of which are much older than the hymnal itself. And so they, like the early singers, begin each song by intoning syllables which are represented by each shaped note in their hymnal: fa, sol, la, and mi. To the casual observer, it is some foreign, unintelligible language, but to these Sacred Harp singers, it is the key that unlocks mysteries: songs of both beauty and sorrow, of life and of death, songs that cause feet to stomp and tears to flow, often at the same time. They are ancient sounds, at times disorienting to the modern ear, and yet they are sung with such passion and force that it becomes obvious these songs are very much alive.

The film will be shown for one night only, April 23rd, at 7 p.m. Ticket prices are $5 general admission and $2 for members of the Film Society. The theater is located at 4820 Jenkins Avenue.