I AM, I AM : A Musical Expedition

Follow composer, producer, and guitarist, Harry Hmura, on a musical expedition as he discovers and shares his passion with great apes in the wake of his work on the hit video-game Halo: Combat Evolved, and his lyrical collaboration with these extraordinary sentient beings to produce a one-of-a-kind listening experience: I Am, I Am. Conveying a raw and emotional truth, I Am, I Am invites you to open your eyes, your ears, and, most importantly, your heart, to the music.

  • Harry Hmura
  • Grant Martin
  • Harry Hmura
  • Harry Hmura
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 46 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 4, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Harry Hmura

If you ever played the world renowned video game series, HALO, you've heard Harry Hmura's guitar. He played on the first game HALO, "Rock Anthem To Save The World." Harry also performed on Halo 3ODST and REACH, becoming a part of the games popularity world wide and its musical iconic reputation.

Harry began playing the guitar at the age of seven. It was his sister initially taking guitar lessons that had drawn him into the instrument. He met B.B. King at thirteen years old at a dinner/show venue called the London House in Chicago. After his performance, B. B. genuinely extended himself, greeting and signing autographs for the audience. With his mother’s encouragement, Harry walked up to and met B. B., getting his autograph and personal message he wrote to him which he still has in his possession. It was after that evening Harry knew his destiny.

As a teenager, Harry started teaching guitar even before he could drive himself to the music store. Taking what he had learned from his previous teachers, he began to grow, listen and learn from the different bands, styles and guitarists that interested him, then passing it on to his students. With his dedication and passion for the guitar, it was merely the beginning of things to come.

He started out touring the U. S. and Canada with Grammy Award Winning blues artist, James Cotton (formerly Muddy Waters harmonica player) turning 21. An experience like no other, Harry learned quickly about life on the road and its expectations. The band traveled 40-44 weeks out of the year, leaving not much down time. There were intense bright spots playing alongside blues and rock legends, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Dickey Betts, Elvin Bishop, Jeff Healey among others. Harry was playing with the best and learning from the best.

Harry was then asked to join and tour Europe exclusively with Grammy Award Winning blues artist, Sugar Blue, another blues harmonica player who had recorded and toured with the Rolling Stones. The extensive traveling and gigging throughout France, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland offered new and exciting experiences, giving way to large venues and jazz festivals, Montreux, North Sea-Hague, Madrid, Paris, Middlehiem, Switz.., again bringing incredible bright spots performing on festivals with jazz legends, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Lionel Hampton, Toots Thielemans and Mickey baker.

As a live performer, Harry toured much of the world, absorbing experiences and inspiration that was all around him. Harry developed his own band, Countdown in his hometown, Chicago. It was original music, a fusion of blues, progressive rock and improvisatory freeness of jazz. This was the beginning of a new era for Harry. He was writing original compositions, and creating his own style. Along with band performances and teaching again, Harry began doing studio sessions recording for local and national radio and TV commercials. He has recorded for a wide range of television shows on network TV on NBC, CBS, WGN, and cable stations A&E, Discovery, Biography, History, ESPN, VH-1, Weather and performed the National Anthem for the Chicago White Sox baseball team. His band Countdown, studio sessions and teaching were keeping things on the go, Harry yet joined up with smooth jazz artist Brian Culbertson to record on his debut album, Long Night Out. Tours followed as did their collaboration co-writing and producing songs for the next two albums.

Inspired by Dr. Jane Goodall and all the incredible great apes he's met and played his guitar for, he composed and produced an album, I AM, I AM. The title itself conveys a strong message, strong and majestic like the great apes themselves. This latest release features actual vocalizations and sounds of great apes in which he and colleagues have recorded either living in sanctuary or in their wild habitats. Writing original compositions and integrating the apes into the music, he created a story based on true facts motivated by the past and current lives of great apes, their untold experiences living in mankind's world. He used their voices and sounds for listeners to feel what they feel and felt. There's beauty, happiness, tenderness, sorrow and horror. Harry approached and produced the album with honesty and sincerity based on the great apes lives.

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Director Statement

“I never thought I’d be sharing music, playing guitar and making friends with great apes I’ve met rescued and living in sanctuary. It's immeasurable... How does one go about explaining the feeling? I do know it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced.” Magical...