An international television show featuring some of the most musically exciting cities in the world began filming in Macon this week.
Airing on Public Broadcasting Service next spring, the 30-minute episode of “Music Voyager” will feature Macon and Athens. The show is produced by Tantra World Wide Inc. and is distributed by American Public Television.
For the past two days, Tantra’s camera crew has explored Macon’s roots in soul, classical and rock music with local ambassador Roger Riddle.
Scenes from the episode may feature a conversation with Otis Redding III, lunch with Mama Louise at H&H Restaurant, a tour of The Big House Museum, a strings concert at Mercer University’s new Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and a concert by local bands at Cox Capitol Theatre.
Lisa Love, director of music marketing and development for Georgia’s tourism department, helped arrange video shoots across the state for Tantra. Macon was the second stop after Atlanta.
“They’re just blown away (and) completely astounded at the music and heritage and the thriving music communities that are here in Georgia,” Love said.
Farook Singh, chief executive officer of Tantra, has filmed 40 such episodes around the world but said he was surprised by Macon’s musical heritage.
“We knew all the artists, but we didn’t know they all came from this area, and that was the coolest thing,” Singh said. “There’s a string here. That string of everybody knowing everybody and sharing their creativity is very different.”
Macon’s musical narrative is “like a tree with so many branches,” Singh said.
At The Big House Museum, the show’s host, Tacuma Bradley, said he was excited to explore the stomping grounds of the Allman Brothers Band. He said “Music Voyager” aims to give a glimpse of a city’s underbelly -- its untold stories.
“I think a lot of people overlook that fact that Georgia has such a rich musical history,” Bradley said. “A lot of people focus on Memphis and what’s going on there, but there’s a lot that’s happened here, and it seems like there’s a lot that’s happening here. ... We don’t want to just focus on the past.”
Local bands Widow Pills and Back City Woods performed at Cox Capitol Theatre on Wednesday night, giving the crew a taste of Macon’s current music.
On Thursday the crew will leave for Athens to film the second half of the episode. Singh said the crew also plans to visit Columbus.
Valerie Bradley, director of communications for the Macon-Bibb County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the episode will allow Macon’s music story to be told in a unique way.
“It’s something that we’ll able to be see here domestically and also internationally,” Bradley said of the episode. “So, someone overseas who may not be as familiar with Macon are able to, through the story, learn about Macon.”
To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4382.