The Agent Orange catastrophe did not end with the Vietnam War. Today, the world over, a primary chemical of the toxic defoliant wreaks havoc on the human genome, causing deformed births and deadly cancers. After decades of struggle and tragic personal losses, two heroic women are leading a worldwide movement to end the plague and hold the manufacturers accountable. In France, Tran To Nga is suing the American chemical industry for poisoning her in Vietnam. In America, Carol Van Strum exposes the continuing use of toxic herbicides. This powerful documentary directed by Alan Adelson & Kate Taverna and produced with Véronique Bernard and Abigail Disney’s Fork Films tells their story, driven home by an innovative cross-cultural score which blends Vietnamese music with modern composition and electronics. After many international festival screenings, the film airs on PBS in the United States on June 28th, 2021.
Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ is an award-winning performer of the 16-string đàn tranh (zither) and an Emmy Award-winning composer who has collaborated with Kronos Quartet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and Yo-Yo Ma. Coming from a family of musicians and studying đàn tranh from the age of four, Van-Anh graduated with distinction from the Vietnamese Academy of Music, where she later taught. She has performed in more than fourteen countries and presented her music at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center (2012, 2014, 2016), Lincoln Center, NPR, Houston Grand Opera, Yerba Buena Performing Arts Center, UK WOMAD Festival, and London Olympic Games 2012 Music Festival. She co-composed and arranged the Oscar-nominated and Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner for Best Documentary, Daughter from Danang (2002), the Emmy® Award winning film and soundtrack for Bolinao 52 (2008), and “Best Documentary” and “Audience Favorite” winner, A Village Called Versailles (2009).
Blake Leyh is an Emmy-winning, Grammy-nominated composer, music supervisor, music producer, and sound designer who lives in New York City. Born in New York but raised in England until age fifteen, his credits include films by James Cameron, The Coen Brothers, Spike Lee, Ang Lee, John Waters, Jonathan Demme, Julie Taymor, Mira Nair, and Kasi Lemmons. Leyh was the music supervisor and composer for all five seasons of HBO's acclaimed series The Wire, for which he also composed the end theme, and has been the music supervisor for all of David Simon's subsequent television shows. Leyh has written film scores for over twenty feature films, contributed memorable sound work to over fifty movies, produced albums by all-women punk bands and “the voice of New Orleans” John Boutté, and performed sound design and guitar live on stage on a twenty-city US tour with Thomas Dolby. Since 2016 with Tony Jarvis he has led the experimental Harlem-based band N to The Power.
released June 25, 2021
For the score Vân-Ánh performs vocals, đàn tranh (zither),đàn bầu (monochord), đàn t'rưng (upright bamboo xylophone, and đàn môi (artillery shell jaw harp). Blake Leyh performs upright electric omni bass, electric cello, electric guitar, octomorph soprano guitar, percussion, voice, and electronics.
Soundtrack album engineered, mixed, and produced by Blake Leyh.
All music composed by Blake Leyh & Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ.