The Film Lift Me Up Documents the Pandemic Experience of Six Austin Musicians
Project ATX6 creates opportunity for musicians and documentaries about them
By Aaron Parsley
Photographs by Kate Blaising
The pandemic that began in 2020 caused immense tragedy and countless disruptions around the world. A new film focuses on one — the way performing and experiencing live music came to a stop like never before in our lifetime.
Lift Me Up is the latest film by Project ATX6. For six years now, six musicians from Austin have been selected to participate in the process of documenting their travels to perform at international festivals and attend workshops to learn, network and enhance their careers.
“Project ATX6 is at the same time a career development program for musicians, a documentary film project and a vehicle to educate the world on Austin’s truly one-of-a-kind music culture,” producer and director Chris Brecht, who founded Project ATX6, said in a press release about Lift Me Up.
The result of the program’s 2020 installment is a documentary about diverse Austin artists, their music and a harrowing pandemic. The film will premiere on Friday, June 18, at 8 p.m. on KLRU, Austin’s PBS station. You can watch a trailer below.
The six musicians who are the subjects of Lift Me Up are Leslie Sisson, the frontwoman of alternative rock band Moving Panoramas; synth-pop artist Jonathan Horstmann; R&B singer Alesia Lani; Evan Charles, the frontman of Americana band Altamesa; honky-tonk musician Kathryn Legendre; and Mike St. Clair, the founder of Pocket Sounds.
“The musicians we select are intended to represent the diversity of Austin’s live music scene, and we give them the opportunity to travel and perform internationally at established music festivals,” Brecht says. “All of it is captured on film, and the ensuing documentary shows the reality of what it’s like to be an independent artist trying to make it in the music world.”
Life Me Up chronicles the experiences of the musicians as they perform at Toronto’s Indie Week and Thailand’s Jai Thep festival before a third gig, at Brighton’s The Great Escape, is canceled due to the pandemic that ultimately steals their opportunity to travel and perform in front of large groups of people.