Office of Student Activities Presents Before the Music Dies

January 18, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Sponsored by the Illinois Wesleyan University's Office of Student Activities, a screening of the documentary Before the Music Dies will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20 in the Hansen Student Center (300 Beecher St., Bloomington).

The event is free and open to the public.

Acclaimed by critics as a "work of people who have a genuine love of music and respect for the artists who make it," Before the Music Dies is a documentary that sets out to prove that, even in an industry dominated by corporations, innovative music and passionate artists still exist.

Filmmakers Andrew Shapter and Joel Rasmussen spend a year traveling across America, scoring interviews with legends like Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt, and capturing diverse performances from The Dave Matthews Band to Erykah Badu; Seattle street performers to Mississippi gospel singers.  According to, "That these guys embarked on this undertaking with no connections at all, and got the footage that they did, is completely mind-blowing; it just cannot be done. But they did it."

Shapter, writer and director, is an award-winning photographer who, after spending fifteen years on the peripheral of the music world doing spreads for MTV and major record labels, began to realize the struggle musicians faced in trying to establish and maintain their careers.

Writer, producer, and editor, Rasmussen studied music technology at the University of Montana and has cultivated a freelance career in motion graphics and post-production.  Rasmussen, quoted in The Washington Post, went into the film with a question in mind: "'How did we get to the point where, as a frustrated music fan says in the film, [radio stations] aren't giving people music they're going to like, but instead they're giving them the least distasteful music that will keep them from switching stations.'"

The documentary combats this sense of disillusionment with a strong hope for the future and intends to leave the audience with a renewed passion for great music.

For additional information, contact Assistant Dean of Students Kevin Clark at (309) 556-3850.

Contact: Teresa Sherman, (309) 556-3181