I would often awake as a child to the angelic sounds of my Welsh-born father playing the piano. Mum played beautifully, too, and my sister, brother and I all dutifully took piano lessons and framed our Royal Conservatory exam certificates. This was the 1960s when the handsome and articulate Glenn Gould made piano-playing cool. The world was entranced by his extraordinary virtuosity at the keyboard and Canadians were rightfully proud that this world-famous musical genius had been born and nurtured here.
When my father passed away, I was honoured to inherit the family grand. I play it occasionally now, to will away the pressures of the day.
Like Canadian painter Tom Thomson and Hollywood anti-hero, James Dean, Glenn Gould epitomized the classic mysterious loner – brooding, articulate, sexy, he was who we wished we could be. So although several films have been made about Gould, when news broke two years ago that he had had a lengthy intimate relationship with the wife of an American pianist and composer, I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to explore the hidden heart of this mysterious man.
Michele Hozer has edited many of my films during the past few years, including “Shake Hands with the Devil”, “A Promise to the Dead”, “Arctic Dreamer” and many others. With its reliance on archival footage, photographs, audio recordings and interviews, this film on the untold life of Glenn Gould seemed like the ideal opportunity for Michele to step out of the cutting room to co-direct with me as well as edit.
The process of making this film has revealed many surprises – we’ve found people who knew Gould intimately who have never before spoken about the depth of their relationship. We’ve discovered rarely-seen footage, never-before-seen photographs and a wealth of Glenn Gould’s private recordings.
We are indebted to those who stepped out of the shadows and shared their memories with us. Thank you.
We are also delighted that the film has already been purchased for broadcast by ZDF-ARTE in Germany, Sveriges TV in Sweden, NPS, the Netherlands, WNET American Masters; PBS in the USA and BRAVO, TVO, Knowledge Network and The Biography Channel in Canada.