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David Pajo
Skateboarding in Pine Ridge OST
Levi's (check Vimeo)

A Farm League Production, 2015
Director / DP: Greg Hunt
Producer: David Burden

Original score by David Pajo
("Anthem" written & performed by Cat Power)

Skateboarding in Pine Ridge is a documentary film part of a series of films funded by Levis (and their Skateboarding Collection), following Skateboarding in Johannesburg (2013), Skateboarding in La Paz (2014), and Skateboarding in Oakland (2015). Well, the Levi's company isn't of any interest here (they're basically in it to sell more of their collection), but at least they tend to do a good deed by helping some poorer areas to raise money to help the people living there, especially the kids or younger ones. Skateboarding in Pine Ridge film documents the skatepark build at Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Pine Ridge Indian Reservation was established in 1889 in the southwest corner of South Dakota on the Nebraska border. Pine Ridge is 'largely reported in the media as an impoverished community with a drug and alcohol epidemic and teen suicide rates seven to ten times greater than the National average', the film making team sates, but further they continue 'when the Levi's team visited the reservation, they saw a community transformed. They found a generation inspired - a group of people championing each other through their collective actions.' It seems skateboarding (or other recreational activities offered) works as sucide prevention among the youth, helping kids from troubled homes. A better park, a better life which again will boost the pride among the Indians (young and old). Like they say in the film, the toughness of the skatboard rink helps feeding 'curiosity, courage, bravery' - which is the about essence of Indian warriors - now and then.

The soundtrack is scored by David Pajo of Slint fame, as well as a number of solo releases under aliases/monikers: Aerial M, M, Papa M, or simply Pajo. Pajo as also been playing/performing/recording with a number of artists/bands over the years, such as: Will Oldham, The For Carnation, Tortoise, Stereolab, Royal Trux, Zwan, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and, Interpol. Scoring the soundtrack for a short documentary means writing/performing just a few songs - creating a limited minutes of music. David Pajo was asked to write the music for this project in May 2014. At the time he thought it was 'just a skate documentary.' Like he says: 'I had no idea it was simmering to become such a beautiful film, with a hopeful, life-affirming theme. I still get misty when I watch it.' The film is touching, and Pajo's music is gentle and touching and it's indeed perfect for the film. Everything's instrumental of course, and the score has sort of an Indian 'theme' in it, such as in the 'title track' "Pine Ridge". "Warriors" is both honoring the 'old' Indians as well as the young, struggling Indians (I think). "Emily Earring" is an ode to the tough skaboarding girl who appears in the film, and "Manderson Skate Park" is like a 'theme' to the main skate park presented in the film (funded by the Stronghold Society, a 5-year-old Denver-based nonprofit, Levi's, and more). Pajo has added a couple of bonus tracks, entitled "Ambient" and "Hartlit", to his digital 'release'. "Family" ends the film nicely, honoring the Lakota people, and family life and peace in Pine Ridge. I guess Pajo salutes and hails his own ring of family (and friends) after his tough and difficult last year when family/friends is the most important and valuable you've got. Go see the film. Go buy Pajo's film score.

PS! I forgot to mention that Cat Power's brand new "Anthem" appears in the film.

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