Paint on canvas

Independent filmmaker and Ashland resident Scott Blum knew exactly what he was looking for when it was time to create a soundtrack for his movie, "Walk-In," showing Friday, June 15, through Thursday, June 28, at the Varsity Theatre.

"Scott contacted me and said he was a fan of my music," says guitarist Jeff Pevar, who is based in Talent. "I was flattered, considering I've not done much as an artist in the Rogue Valley."

Pevar's reputation as a talented sideman has led him to record and tour internationally with an extensive list of artists such as Ray Charles, Marc Cohn, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Donald Fagen, Rickie Lee Jones, Phil Lesh and Michael Ruff, to name a few. Pevar just finished a string of shows in Connecticut with guitarist Jeff Pitchell, pianist Matt Zeiner, guitarist Danny Kortchmar and others.

"Blum said he had a feeling I'd be the guy for this kind of film," Pevar says. "I jumped at the chance. Though I have no experience when it comes to creating music to support a movie, it's something I've wanted to do all of my life."

When Blum gave Pevar the script, he ran into his studio and wrote about 12 new pieces of music, Pevar says.

"It's about the intention of wanting to do it and of being passionate and talented about it. I kind of threw paint at the canvas, sonically, just to create some landscapes to turn the script's emotional content into an audible resonance for its bittersweet story.

"Scott's an adept musician and writer himself. He would send me small clips to use as cues to where he thought the film would benefit by including music."

Blum also provided material by other composers that he wanted Pevar to use as guidelines to set the mood of the music for particular scenes.

"I think the piece titled 'Metamorphosis' is the most profound song I've ever written. It comes in when the film's protagonist transforms from a dying cancer patient to an angel. 'The End of the Beginning,' played at the end of the film as the character's wife is driving through Hellgate Canyon, is the first symphonic piece I've written. It's an encapsulation of the film's story into a piece of music written for strings."

Pevar plays all of the guitar, mandolin and bass instrumentation for the compositions, using samples of cello and violin played on a keyboard.

"It's a great way to accomplish a quality soundtrack on an independent budget," he says.

The film's theme song, "Familiar," was written by Blum, Kat Sanchez and Pevar and performed by Pevar and Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor Danforth Comins, who plays the lead role in "Walk-In."

Pevar and Comins will present a live performance at 7 p.m. Friday, June 22, at the Varsity, followed by a screening of the film and a Q-and-A session with the musician and actor.

See the "Walk-In" review on Page 10, and see Page 11 for tickets and showtimes.

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