"I just hope that our fans are people who are inspired by music, and just use our music as a background or inspiration for whatever it is they do."
Maynard James Keenan (Tool singer)
By providing a portrait of individuals connected or not with Tool, The Holy Gift offers a journey to the four corners of the world searching for answers to the question: "Why do we like music?"
“Music is everywhere. No people or culture lives without it. Why do we feel the need to listen to it? Can we understand our attraction? Why is this art so special?
“The Holy Gift” offers a journey from Paris to New York, New Delhi to London, Athens to the Amazon rain forest in search of individuals from different worlds (a psychedelic painter, a mathematician who translates music into geometric shapes, a surgeon who became a virtuoso pianist after being struck by lightning, and a sculptor who casts metal to the rhythm of rock) - individuals who, through their singularity, passion, and talent, will enable audiences to better grasp the nature of music. “The Holy Gift” is a cinema project. The subject matter is universal, even though the idea came about through listening to Tool's albums. The group will not be physically present in the film. Some of their tracks will be played in part (one instrument at a time), but no real excerpt of their albums will be heard. I thus opted for a symbolic omnipresence of the group. Tool is the project's backbone, the tree trunk to which all the film's themes are attached, an opportunity for the audience to ask themselves about their relationship with music. With this treatment, nothing excludes those who aren't familiar with them.
I've been playing music since I was 8 - piano, then guitar. Lateralus is my greatest musical discovery to date, an album that was different to what I knew though I couldn't explain why. It changed my approach to music. It provoked so many questions in me, including seemingly the simplest: Why do we like music?
By wondering about that, I asked myself what Music was.
Rather than make a documentary about Tool which would only have appealed to their fans, I chose to write a film about the emotion felt and its source rather than an explanation of the creative process by the group. I want to bring the music, musicians, and instruments to the fore.
I therefore propose a journey around the world, an investigation into the identity of Music by only focusing on the universality that I find in Tool's music.
The Holy Gift opens the audience up to questions about creativity, rhythm, meditation, mathematics, philosophy, and myths. We will discover that understanding what music is means trying to understand its emotion and to justify it. But how can one rationally justify something which cannot really be analyzed?
This film shows that music isn't just a series of notes on a stave. I want the audience to be able to listen to music with a fresh ear after watching the film.”
Stéphane Kazadi, Film director