Last month I mentioned Project Z – I’m now able to spill the beans.
As part of next March’s You Are Here festival, I’ve been commissioned to compose a soundtrack to a silent film. The final work will be performed in front of the film at the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA). It’s an incredible opportunity and I’m mega-excited.
The NFSA has given myself and two other artists access to several 20s and 30s films – each of us will create a 20 minute ‘response’ to the material. I came across the Cineconcert movement in Edinburgh last year, and was fortunate enough to experience several performances. Bikini Machine live-soundtracking Desperado is one of the top five gigs of my life. Ever since, I’ve been enamoured with the concept and looking for a way to do something similar.
My intention is to find a suitable 20 minute segment (or edit together something), compose a soundtrack, and then form a scratch ensemble from members of the Canberra band scene to perform it. Stylistically, I’ll combine electronic and acoustic elements, and at this point, I want to do something bright and summery. Pieces will vary in length as appropriate to mirror the footage – I envisage it will comprise short pieces (5-20 seconds), some longer passages (up to a couple of minutes) and one or two full songs, all matching the mood and themes onscreen. To create an immersive experience, the musicians will be costumed and the stage set to reflect the film.
I took carriage of the films last week, and will spend the next fortnight figuring out what footage to use and brainstorming ideas. Check back – I’ll be blogging as I go…