What is the sound of the Old West?
Television and movie audiences have grown familiar with the cattle-driving, staccato, and triumphant theme music at the beginning of nearly every Western film or TV program.
Yet for their 2010 remake of True Grit, the Coen brothers employed somber, contemplative, bluegrass and folk-inspired music, with Iris DeMent singing the melancholic final song, "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms."
Navigating the gap between the rousing pomp of earlier Westerns and the new, subdued style of the Coen brothers, Kansas City musician Jeff Harshbarger has composed original songs compatible with the historic era in which True Grit unfolds. He and his band The Revisionists will discuss and perform both new and familiar tunes keyed to the novel's setting in The Sound of True Grit: Music Inspired by the Novel on Wednesday, October 2, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
The event is part of the Kansas City Big Read, which this year features Charles Portis' novel True Grit. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and bring the transformative power of literature into the lives of its citizens. The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment.
Harshbarger is a musician, composer, and bandleader. He was voted Person of the Year by Plasticsax.com and Best Bassist by Pitch Magazine. He is co-founder of Tzigane Music, an artist-run collective and record label. Harshbarger curates the concert series Jeff Harshbarger Presents: An Alternative Jazz Series, which promotes improvised music in Kansas City.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP at kclibrary.org  call 816.701.3407.