In The Shadow of the Mountain – a short film directed by Neith Sentis and shot in the Pyrenees mountains Catalonia, has been receiving award after award. The sound team of myself and Andrew Layfield worked through the night for two weeks during the shoot to capture as much nature sound from the location as possible. We used Sound Devices mixers and microphones by Sennheiser and Rode. The setup was both compact to allow us to traverse through the mountain terrain and of excellent quality, allowing us to record the finer details of life in the mountain wilderness.
We recently shot a short film titled Skye, a drama/sci-fi film by Chris Cronin about a special young girl and the emotional family upheaval caused by her special attributes (avoiding spoilers). Shot over two days in several Manchester locations the crew worked tirelessly to achieve the asthetics we were aiming for. My role was 1st Assistant Sound, working alongside Andrew Layfield. We used a variety of excellent audio equipment including Sound Devices mixers, Sennheiser mics and wireless systems and Rode carbon fibre poles and suspensions.
Skye is entered into My Rode Reel competition and can be viewed and voted for here: http://www.rode.com/myrodereel/watch/entry/2983
Text from the Framework Radio website:
‘a little late getting this show out to you, due to my hectic traveling schedule. today, for example, i had to be treated to an amazing 5 course lunch by a good friend at his wonderful restaurant here in london, and then take a long leisurely walk along a canal. you see what i have to put up with?
but i’m finally back to fulfilling my responsibilities, which include this show for you, and preparing for the rest of my activities here in the uk. yesterday we had a nice talk with students at goldsmiths hosted by john levack drever. early next week i’ll be meeting with students at oxford brookes university hosted by paul whitty, and making an appearance at oxford’s playground event hosted by stavroula kounadea. then next thursday, back here in london, at lcc hosted by cathy lane, be presenting my collaboration with daniel allen, the ongoing work-in-progress documentary film, the mill. come along if you can!
meanwhile, a very long playlist this week with lots of great sounds, including some of my own, which i don’t put into the shows very often, a first look at some of the recent releases on and/oar, as well as works by aino tytti, lewis gilbert, kate carr, mathias delplanque, and more sounds from the aporee sound maps.’
[time / artist / track / album / label]
00:00 – 05:21 / keith de mendonca / framework introduction, recorded in india
04:55 – 07:32 / search ensembles / ac dl mn / search ensembles / and/oar
07:21 – 14:02 / kate carr / under wires / i had myself a nuclear spring / flaming pines
20:50 – 28:23 / kate carr / confluence / i had myself a nuclear spring / flaming pines
24:34 – 27:24 / search ensembles / dl jt / search ensembles / and/oar
34:39 – 36:20 / search ensembles / dl lc / search ensembles / and/oar
35:27 – 41:44 / kate carr / the darkness of riverbeds / i had myself a nuclear spring / flaming pines
40:07 – 44:30 / vincent duseigne / the cows / court-st.-étienne, be / aporee soundmaps
43:50 – 48:44 / search ensembles / ac dl jh lc sk / search ensembles / and/oar
50:15 – 54:58 / kate carr / flicker flow / i had myself a nuclear spring / flaming pines
53:06 – 55:36 / search ensembles / dl sa / search ensembles / and/oar
‘Lewis Gilbert displays a delicate touch on the careful field recordings that adorn “Roundstone”. Focused on those sounds so many often ignored Lewis Gilbert amplifies them showing that music is everywhere. The pieces range from the loud crashing waves on “Atlantic Ocean” to the otherworldly work of “Music for Wind”. No matter what is source material is he does it a tremendous amount of justice.
“Atlantic Ocean” opens the album up on an active note as the crashing waves wash over everything. Interestingly Lewis Gilbert provides a little foreshadowing as bird songs become increasingly more prevalent as the piece progress. Resulting from this foreshadowing the transition to “Cloch na Rón” seems remarkably natural. With the volume turned up the beautiful bird sounds become readily apparent. Out in the distance a rooster can be heard as can some mild metallic sheens as the song grows in scope. In the distance a bell rings indicating some semblance of settlement, one of the few times that humanity becomes apparent. Powerful in sound is the dominating wind of “Howl”. By far the highlight of the collection is the jewel “Music for Wind”. Completely gorgeous in tone it feels like a ghost visiting the world. Ending things off on a communal note is the delicate work of “A Pond Symphony”.
Literally the embodiment of life, Lewis Gilbert’s “Roundstone” is a tremendous work that celebrates the fragile sounds taken for granted. On “Roundstone” Lewis Gilbert creates an unhurried narrative reminiscent of Luc Ferrari’s best moments. ‘
It’s been a while since i’ve made any noise, so i’ve decided to edit some recordings from the Pyrenees and release them via Bandcamp as a pay what you want download with a percentage of sales again going to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders). Earlier in the year i released a collection of these recordings but due to a record label submission they had to be removed. The new release will see a series of downloads go online over the Christmas period, and will offer a unique listen into a tiny village situated 1100 metres above sea level in the middle of the Pyrenees mountains in Catalonia. The most remarkable sound featured in these recordings is hundreds of cow bells, bouncing around the mountains and blending into the Mediterranean soundscape. The recordings were made during a short film production of In The Shadow of The Mountain (2014) by Catalan director Neith Sentis http://www.intheshadowofthemountain.com. Stay tuned for some Pyrenean sound spores.
I have been back from Cataluña for several days and still adjusting back to the cold dark damp November in the UK. We lived and filmed in a village called Malpàs, located in the middle of the Pyrenees mountains. It was 27 degrees during the day, with it dropping towards 0 as we slept. ‘We’ is the word i’d like to draw attention to. Living and filming with the same group of people for a period of time is an experience unlike any other, especially when you don’t know anyone. The cast and crew were made up of international filmmakers from Holland, Cataluña, Italy and Columbia.. to name just a few, and during these 240 hours we bonded into a family.
The shoot itself was very professional and conducted like we had all been in the industry for far longer than we have. That said, it was also one of the most fun shoots I’ve worked on, emphasised by the great attitude and relationships created within the team. The location, obviously, was a dream.
I’ll finish up by emphasising my love letter to the film industry and the Shadow of the Mountain team.. finishing a shoot like this and then returning to life off-set is a huge drag, but the impact and inspiration that can be drawn from it is utterly priceless, and the fire burns to do it all again in a new setting.
SOUND: I am in the process of editing a collection of recordings from Malpàs to release in the form of a second album.
I have recently been in contact with Harry Sumner, creator of the online sound archive Sonospace, to discuss past and future projects. Over the past few weeks I have contributed some recordings for use on his site, including the tracks featured on the Roundstone album and a retrospective soundscape work I recorded for the Anywhere in Leeds project a few months ago. Sonospace is a fantastic website for listening to the work of current recordists, Harry describes it as ‘an audio tool for the sound enthusiast and an archive for the cultural and recreational needs of the global sound community.’
Check out the Sonospace website here: http://www.sonospace.org