It was one of the most iconic moments in science fiction film history. At the beginning of “Dune” a seven-year-old girl with ice blue eyes enters the scene as part of a cosmic religious order. The character Alia Atreides was the first film for Alicia Witt. There is still something magical about her. She may be in a teddy and top hat stealing Hugh Grant from Sandra Bullock in “Two Weeks Notice,” in “The Sopranos” as a Hollywood executive or as a villainous survivor fighting off zombie hordes in “The Walking Dead.” I first met her at the Venice film festival in 2013 at a party in the Mazarati Lounge. When I saw she would be coming to perform at The Linda May 4, I thought I’d reach out and see what she will be up to in the Capital Region.
Witt is on a tour with her latest album 15,000 Days. She’s done it all herself, booking this month-long tour which has brought her to Albany for the first time. She has fans who find her music through film or her film through music. She demonstrates her guileless qualities in the title 15,000 Days, a reference to her age. “I love the age that I am and it’s a proud part of my identity. I don’t run from it. It is a really nice round number too,” Witt said.
Finding the right producer for the album was incredibly important to Witt so she had a Kickstarter campaign to pay for Jaquire King who has produced for Buddy Guy, Norah Jones and The Kings of Leon. “A great producer is like a film director. Jaquire really listened to me but also found a way to make this record different to anything I have ever made,” Witt observed.
Music is so readily available and from many sources free. Spotify, Bandcamp, YouTube—it seems that you could listen to new artists 24 hours a day. Other than hits or follows or plays or downloads, how does an artist qualify success?
“I get to travel all over the world and go to towns I’ve never been to and people show up! It’s an amazing thing,” Witt said, laughing.
In her 15,000 days she has learned to walk the line between film and music, finding success in both. She’s managed to keep it from going to her head. “I have a song called “Love Anyway” that I think expresses my feelings about bringing people who might disagree together and when I look out on a crowd being touched by my music I just feel lucky being able to do what I truly love for all these years,” said Witt.
For tickets and more information on Alicia Witt’s May 4 performance, visit www.thelinda.org.