23 febbraio 2021

Lavanda di mare: a musical endorsement to film production and beyond. The Return to Sea and Sardinia project

D.H. Lawrence's map of Sardinia 
In early 1921, D.H. Lawrence set out with his wife Freida to travel through Sardinia. The chronicle of that journey, describing the experiences and feelings of the English writer, is narrated in the book Sea and Sardinia. Exactly one century later, the Photographer and art director Daniele Marzeddu and his team plan to retrace Lawrence’s steps this year and will capture their experiences through photography and a documentary film: Return to Sea and Sardinia

As well as Sea and Sardinia is more than a travel book, a film that tells its story must be more than a film. Therefore, this project includes a series of actions, which will be revealed later, between images, sounds and voices,

The original plan was to film in January, the exact month Lawrence landed in Sardinia, but faced with a viral calamity, even the most perfect plan has be forced to change. For the time being we must confine our ambitions as film critics to listening to the first track of the soundtrack: because of the pandemic, everything to do with filming was postponed and solely the production of the sound track went ahead, ignoring the covid. 

During last weekend I had the opportunity to listen to this first portion of the music to accompany the film, composed by Glåsbird, Lavanda di Mare (Lavender of the Sea) and I must say that it was impossible not to think of Lawrence's journey. I found it the perfect emotional framework for the images of a journey within a journey. 

This film, as anyone interested in the stories of small productions knows, needs to raise funds. And music comes to the aid of visual art. How? By providing a compilation for the crowdfunding campaign set up by Daniele Marzeddu and his team. 

So Whitelabrecs have decided to curate a digital compilation, in which all proceeds will be donated to Return to Sea and Sardinia for a period of 12 months: Ennio’s Muse (Whitelabrecs Compilation).

The composers are: Glåsbird, Simeon Walker, Ian Hawgood, Adrian Lane, Théo Martin, Lorenzo Masotto, Mikael Lind, Emanuele Errante, Autistici & He Can Jog, Andrew Heath, Sven Laux, Grotta Veterano, The Green Kingdom, Blochemy, Anthéne & Simon McCorry, Logic Moon, Jazzdefector, Henrik Lauge & Enzo Orefice, Pruski, Andrew Lang, Mi Cosa de Resistance, S.hel, Pie Are Squared, Polaroid Notes and Nebel lang. 

The album is themed on cinematic scoring, inspired by the late great Ennio Morricone and throwing forward the themes of Mediterranean travel that lie ahead. 

The artists invited have been asked to produce a piece of music, as if they are scoring for an imaginary film.

Glåsbird, in writing music for cinema, how important is it to know the story and how important is it to see the images?

«I think fascinating results can come out of either approach, whether it’s scoring a cue to a pre-recorded film, or just using imagination without much in the way of imagery. My non-cinema work is all based around research and imagination, so for me writing music for film gives me yet more visuals and stories to help inspire my music.
If the film does not yet exist, then the approach I might take is to write a lot of material, to build a library of sounds. That way, the director has more to work with in matching up the music to a particular scene.
If the film is an adaptation or inspired by a book such as the case with Sea and Sardinia, then absolutely I feel it’s really important to read it! I like to bring stories, history, facts and culture together before writing my music. This helps draw inspiration and I like my work to mean something and show some respect to what exists already.»

Coming to the film Sea and Sardinia, you already have in mind what kind of atmosphere are you thinking of linking to the scenes? 

«I’ve already started working! Although I’m currently taking a break whilst we wait for news on when international travel will be allowed again, so that Daniele can follow through with the visit. I’d like to see some of the images or footage he collects and take the time to fine tune the sound I’ve already developed. We may use recordings of traditional Sardinian instruments for example, or perhaps some sounds that the team find in their visit.
Otherwise, what I’ve been working on so far has been informed by watching documentaries of Sardinia, stories and imagery Daniele has shared as well as of course, D.H Lawrence’s magnificent book. It may all change and develop, but I’ve got a collection of rich and modern classical leaning moods as well as some warm acoustic material, some percussion even to give some movement. As I’ve started already, the initial approach has been to create a collection of music library and so I’m trying to vary my sound quite a bit. We’ll see if there’s much dialog in the music, and if not, I’ll need to create lots of interesting ideas to help keep the viewers engaged in the film!»

Do you know Sardinia? Have you ever been there?

«I've been to Italy many times, but not Sardinia. So I do not know it in that sense. But as part of this project, as much as all of my album work (A Sonic Expedition), I am transcribing what I learn from inside the comfort of my home, traveling, without actually moving. Maybe some day I will visit.»

How did the idea of gathering more than 20 artists to create a compilation in support of this film come about?

«We’ve been trying to think of some ideas on fundraising between us, so that we can help make it possible for this film to take place. Harry from Whitelabrecs is involved in our discussions too and suggested a compilation. The label has run many large projects involving several artists before so it seemed a good idea. I was surprised that a release date of January was planned, when we only had the idea at the beginning of January. So many artists were approached and most produced something in time! It’s amazing how quickly it came together, but how good it all sounds too!
The short film for my track Lavanda di Mare was actually our last idea but it really cements the album and feels like it was always meant to be included. Daniele asked his friend Antonio who will be traveling to Sardinia with him, to put together some footage they’d shot before and it gives a really exciting experience of what’s to come from this project.»

Andrea Mameli - Linguaggio Macchina

[video of the week] Glåsbird – Lavanda di Mare

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