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An intriguing music documentary about world-traveled composer and conductor Joel Thome, "Inside The Perfect Circle" provides a close personal look at Thome’s career and philosophy. He collaborated extensively with Frank Zappa arranging the rock icon’s music for symphony orchestra and rock band. He was awarded a Grammy for his work with Zappa and guitarist Steve Vai, and was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. After suffering a debilitating stroke in 1998, Joel lost the use of his left arm and was forced to undergo years of recovery. Using music as a resource for healing, he was able to resume composing and returned to the stage to perform his graphically notated mandala scores. The performance was featured at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City in September 2009.

Soundtracked by the brilliantly eccentric Scorchio Quartet (formed and named by David Bowie), the film is filled with modern music captured live, emanating a meditative and serene sonic backdrop. The documentary includes rehearsal footage, interviews with musicians, colleagues, and performers, archival video, and performance footage. The journey of Joel Thome is an unusual story of dedication, love, and unquestionable genius; the story of a composer who constantly strived to break the mold and explore uncharted territories in music and in life.


produced and directed by CHRIS PEPINO

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