A portrait, mostly chronological, of composer, cellist, and vocalist Arthur Russell (1951-1992). His parents, friends and colleagues such as Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass, his long-time companion Tom Lee, and others provide commentary. Arthur is shy, acne-scarred, from the prairie, constantly composing, and not always finishing works. After a few years in San Francisco, he settles in New York City and becomes music director at the Kitchen. He bridges pop and classical, records disco music with Lola Blank, has an unsuccessful collaboration with Robert Wilson, and is part of several bands. In archival clips, we see him perform. He leaves hundreds of tapes and other recordings.