Nearly a year ago we were part of a screening of Andy Birtwistle’s ‘Laboratory Film’, with live soundtrack composed and performed by Sam Bailey with the Leon String Quartet. We were fortunate to get an enigmatic and rich live recording which you can hear on the Free Range Sound Cloud page: Sound Cloud – Laboratory Film
After a year it has given us time to reflect on an experience that stayed with us due to its beautiful and touching exploration of the institutional space of the lab. Sam gave us a vivid sound world to play with and improvising around certain compositional ideas gave us a great sense of freedom and fun. We also spent time studying the actions of the people within the film and the open spaces the film visits in its final section. At 01:57 minutes into the recording you can year a dramatic change in mood, with the ambient sounds of the lab amongst the gentle latin swing of the piano and quartet. Together the everydayness of the lab seems elevated to one of beauty captured as a moment in time. At 03:19 the film changes to a tractor working the farm in wide open space, seemingly a world away from the grey confines of the lab. Then, as the tractor vanishes we are left with the beautiful panoramic stillness of the open fields with the quartet singing simultaneously with their bowed chords.
Hear more from Andy Birtwistle regarding his cinematic explorations: Andy Birtwistle – Laboratory Film