Gareth Dunlop and Lee Rogers both possess emotional, characterful voices that capture and hold attention. Individually, they are fine singers but together, over lightly tuneful acoustic guitar, their vocals combine to create an utterly captivating sound. This beautiful collaboration is the title song for the first official documentary about the controversial Nobel Prize-winning Southern Gothic author William Faulkner. The Northern Irish songwriters both released well-received second albums in 2022 before embarking on a promotional tour with Foy Vance that included dates across Europe, the UK, Ireland and the USA. Following this, the friends were commissioned to write a song for the documentary which premiered at the prestigious Oxford Film Festival in Mississippi on 3rd March 2022. The film’s director, Michael Modak-Truran says: “It is the perfect ending. Gareth and Lee have captured the poetic yet melancholic quality that permeates Faulkner’s musings about the influence of the past in his literature. The song helps the audience feel, at a deep level, how everyone’s past shapes their present and future.” Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts as Faulkner both narrates and stars in the documentary; find out more here.
The documentary sheds light on William Faulkner’s life, works and controversial views on race. Modak-Truran continues: “I wasn’t sure if modern audiences could relate to him. There were things Faulkner said that I didn’t like and still struggle to completely understand, but he is critical to our current moment. In crafting unforgettable characters and stories, his work embraces the complexity of race relations in America that still echo today. Our entire documentary team think it is incredibly special that the first audience to see ‘The Past Is Never Dead’ will be in the place where Faulkner lived and found inspiration.”
If you’re looking for well-crafted, sophisticated songs, delivered with distinctive vocal performances, then go back and check out Roger’s ‘Gameblood’ and Dunlop’s album ‘Animal’, both released last year.