The Soundtrack Project: The Fatted Calf from Memphis Chamber on Vimeo.

Video: Michael Lenagar approached farming with a special blend of animal husbandry and Bible-based teachings. Our script, fashioned from interviews over several months, conveys his thoughtful perspective on the irony of life as a rancher who must slaughter the very beasts he nurtures to survive.

Michael died of a sudden illness not long after a live performance of “The Fatted Calf” by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and after the video was named by as one of 2010’s best in a worldwide competition. It was great to have known him.

Project background: The Soundtrack Project is an eight-part multimedia project I created to team symphony composers with local business owners in Memphis, Tennessee. The idea was to fashion unique vernacular scores for each video by allowing the composer to engage with each subject and experience aspects of their industry firsthand. The videos were housed at, adpated for a half-hour PBS special, and played with live accompaniment at a special Memphis Symphony Orchestra concert.

Credits: John Hubbell, writer/producer. Lance Murphey, cinematography and editing. Jonathan Kirkscey, original score. Jonathan Kirkscey, Scott Best, Jessie Munson, musicians. Mixing by Kevin Houston, Music + Arts Studios. Project funded by the Greater Memphis Chamber and Duncan-Williams Inc.