Sunday, December 18, 2016
I recently had the good pleasure of working with filmmaker Andrew Fillipone Jr. again. This time he created a random frame-by-frame reshuffling of Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. When Andrew approached me about doing music for it, I thought that a group improvisation would be nice. I assembled a group of Jonathan Moritz on saxophones, Carlo Costa on drums/percussion and myself on piano and we had a great time at Peter Karl Studios in Brooklyn on December 5.
Andrew's film is quite "loud", meaning it's very busy, flashy, and intense. And it's nearly 2.5 hours long. Since it's such an intense experience in itself, I thought that a sparse, slow-developing score would balance it nicely. Jonathan and Carlo are known to play like that, so I was happy they were able to do it. I told them that I was imagining a slow and sparse score, but we were in agreement that we'd go wherever the music and film took us. Going for that long, we're bound to get somewhere unexpected anyway. In the moment I found myself thinking pretty compositionally - working extending some of the ideas that I started with and returning to them periodically throughout the recording. Prior inspiration for me came from composer Morton Feldman and the band The Necks. And of course the film, Jonathan, Carlo, the piano, the day and everything else were big influences during the recording.
For me the film acted as another musician in the band. None of us were watching the screen the whole time - it is quite a lot to look at! But when I was watching it, it stimulated musical ideas. I did have some wonderful long periods of watching the screen and I noticed a lot of interesting things. I noticed the walls in many of the shots - a window on the back wall that would jump forward and back and side walls that would jump in and out and flash between books and wall. Some frames seemed to stay in mind longer, even though they were all the same length - the neck brace frames and the red title frames, of which there seemed to be a lot. At times the pace seemed to speed up or slow down, which was also an illusion. What do you notice? I encourage you to be with it for awhile and let things reveal themselves to you.
Andrew released the film with our score and also a video of us making the recording, so I'll include both of them here. Enjoy!
And check out Andrew at Steveisnothappy.com
A Lccokrkow Garneo from Andrew Filippone Jr. on Vimeo.
Recording "A Lccokrkow Garneo" from Andrew Filippone Jr. on Vimeo.