Requiem for My Mother
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Requiem For My Mother
Requiem for My Mother is an award-winning documentary and a compelling musical celebration of life and love, loss and acceptance. The film chronicles the personal journey of prolific Hollywood film score composer Stephen Edwards as he is forced to deal with the sudden loss of his mother, Rosalie Edwards, whose passion for music transformed his life and who was his constant inspiration. To deal with his loss, Edwards channels his anger, passion, sadness, and faith into a major new choral work — a “Requiem,” the traditional Catholic mass for the dead. The film follows the thrilling creation of the piece and the massive preparations leading up to its international premiere at a renowned music festival in Rome’s Vatican City. In collaboration with the Continuo Arts Foundation, along their renowned conductor Candace Wicke, the Requiem goes from a son’s personal lament to a soaring 160-voice choral performance with a 50-piece orchestra, staged in one of the most beautiful and sacred places in the world, the Basilica of St. Ignatius of Loyola in Rome.
The film introduces us to the remarkable Rosalie Edwards, the beautiful daughter of Sicilian-American immigrants, proudly recalled by Edwards as a “typical 1950s glamour girl.” A mother of four, Rosalie was a dedicated musician who instilled her love of music in her children and became their biggest champion. Through vintage photos, old home movies, and interviews with his siblings, Edwards shares his memories of his mother and his Michigan upbringing. Rosalie’s story is intercut with the nerve-wracking preparations for the Requiem’s debut as conductor Wicke, a friend of Rosalie’s, and Edwards travel to rehearsals in Wisconsin, Miami and New York, as amateur choirs from far-flung parishes are painstakingly taught the piece. With time running out, the question looms. Will this massive choir, along with members from the Prague Philharmonic — with only one rehearsal — rise to the occasion for the most important musical moment of Edwards’s life?
A moving personal story as well as a rousing performance film, Requiem for My Mother reminds us of music’s power to transform grief into beauty, healing and hope for the future.
About Stephen Edwards
Michigan native and US and Italian citizen Stephen Edwards’ music education began at an early age, with training by his mother, Rosalie Edwards, followed by studies at Interlochen Music Camp and Lawrence University where he was recipient of the “Outstanding Classical Soloist” award sponsored by DownBeat magazine, and selected as a participant in the All-American College Orchestra National Talent Search sponsored by Disney.
Mr. Edwards continued his studies at the Dick Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, and immediately started working as a session musician for film and TV composers like Mike Post. An avid pianist, he owns several Steinway pianos from many different eras, and frequently performs on soundtracks for film and TV, including "The Mechanic", "The Prestige", "Desperate Housewives" and many others. He recently released his first solo piano album, "Piano Music from the Movies" which is available online or on CD. A prolific composer, Mr. Edwards has scored more than 60 movies, from comedy to action, martial arts to documentaries. Current projects include “Boyka: Undisputed”, “Cops and Robbers” and “Stoic”. He recently produced and co-directed a feature-length documentary called "Requiem for My Mother" about a new major choral work he composed in honor of his late mother that premiered at the Vatican. Look for the film and CD soundtrack to be released sometime in 2017.