Sundance is synonymous with films and actors, but the festival offers plenty of live music events as well.
ASCAP Music Café is an intimate venue located right on Main Street in Park City and boasts an eclectic line-up during the Sundance Film Festival.
According to the ASCAP Café, the venue has been a part of the Sundance experience for over 22 years. This year, ASCAP opened its doors for eight days of concerts featuring a diverse mix of artists like Guster’s Ryan Miller, Cyn, Ron Artis II, and Rain Phoenix.
Phoenix’s latest album, “River,” honors her late brother, actor River Phoenix, who died in 1993 at 23. On stage, Phoenix openly talks about the universality of grief and its connection to her album.
Phoenix sat down with The Globe to talk about her first solo album and the ASCAP Café.
“To be honest, I didn’t set out to make a record about him [River Phoenix]. I just put out a song at the 25th anniversary [of his death] along with some of his music and then I couldn’t stop making music,” Phoenix states.
It was through this that Phoenix realized she was making her first solo album.
“Halfway through the process of the record, I realized it had to honor him and I had to call it ‘River.’ When that happened, the rest of the record [almost] made itself. It was as if I had finally, totally stepped into the right relationship with what I was doing,” she says.
Phoenix continues, “To be honest, one of the deepest connections I had on this record was realizing the universality of loss. While I’ve lost many people in my life … we all have.”
Phoenix’s debut solo single, “Killing Time,” originally released on Valentine’s Day of last year along with two previously unreleased tracks from the band Aleka’s Attic, which features Phoenix and her late brother.
“River” debuted last Halloween to mark the 26th anniversary of the actor’s death.
Phoenix, who played at the ASCAP Music Café on Jan. 25 and 26, has performed at the venue before.
“I think, here at ASCAP Café, they really provide a space for musicians to get to play their music, an audience that wants to listen to it,” she says. “They are very quiet, they are very present; and that’s when you can have that magical thing happen, where the energy you’re putting out and the energy the audience is putting out can create something that’s altogether different than performing alone or listening to music alone. It’s this incredible symbiosis that happens that makes what you’re doing really special. Today, I really felt that with the audience.”
Visit the ASCAP Café for more information about the venue and its performers.
More from the ASCAP Music Café