Said to “celebrates the rewards and challenges of dedicating a life to playing music”, the documentary – also directed by Grohl – comes in two parts.
The first opens with a narrated behind-the-scenes exploration of Grohl’s love of making and playing music. The second shows Grohl playing every instrument on a unique instrumental recording. Grohl plays seven instruments in total with viewers able to see Grohl play each all the way through for 23 minutes.
Explaining the project in more detail, the press release says: “Part one opens with narrated behind the scenes footage featuring discussion of the love of playing music and the lifelong relationship with an instrument, and detailing the process and challenges of recording and filming this unique performance.”
“Play then segues into the titular 23-minute instrumental recording. “The entire song was played by Grohl, each time on a different instrument, live for 23 minutes.”
Speaking about making music in the documentary, Grohl says: “It’s not something that you ever truly master. You’re always chasing the next challenge, and you’re always trying to find a way to improve on what you’ve learned.”
At the start of the documentary, Grohl describes himself as “a kid in a candy store” when faced with playing the instruments in the music studio. He adds: “To any musician, young or old, a beautiful studio full of instruments is like a playground.”
Grohl also talks about the difficulty of music making during the opening moments of part one, saying making music is always a “puzzle and a challenge” and a “beautiful mystery.”
“To any musician, young or old, a beautiful studio full of instruments is like a playground.”
Dave Grohl – PLAY.
— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) August 9, 2018
— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) August 6, 2018
‘Play’ has also be transformed into an online interactive experience where viewers are able to explore Grohl’s 7 performances, as well as download sheet music and learn more about local organisations working in music education.
You can watch the documentary via the interactive experience here where you can also listen to the master audio of the recording.
Explaining his methods to create the final project earlier this year, Grohl said: “The best part is we’ll film everything with multiple cameras so by the end of it you will see and hear one song being played for 25 minutes, with six different Dave Grohl’s playing every note, on every single instrument, all the way through in one take.”