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For the short film ‘Beyond’

Detailed information about music made for the short film:


(Nature, Demons and Angels)

This film involved a collaboration- I created the soundtrack. Furthering Goddard’s approach to the film Aria, my soundtrack provides a response to nineteenth century opera, using embedded themes. With quotes from Der Freischütz by Weber I sketch a musical response that traces a language of choreography. The implied presence and landscape is unearthly and supernatural, the updated hidden dark power includes technology.

This film delves into lower layers of the underworld in the tradition of nineteenth century opera but with a contemporary treatment. Landscape transferred into a performance space was part of the collaborative process of this film as was the operatic style of Der Freischütz by Weber.

Goddard’s film sequence Armide from ‘Aria’ (1987) is based on an opera by Jean-Baptiste Lully, first staged in 1686. It has been said that Goddard ‘does violence’ to the piece by selecting, fragmenting and recombining sections, then fading them in and out.

Goddard nonetheless depicted psychological elements and symbolism that was consistent with the original meaning and passion.

This is the approach that I used with Der Freischütz for this film, however I went a step further and made an original recording of the excerpts that I selected, including acoustic and digital material.

The first dark chords are from the overture; I replaced the descending violin phrase with a female voice part, this introduces the female centre of the film.

As objects start to move we hear a descending phrase that is from the first scene, I extended the descent of this phrase even further. A rhythmic vocal sound creates a tension that builds as an airplane is heard; a hidden power that one might hear in a contemporary forest. The next passage is adapted from an Aria in the second act, there are images that show evidence of a presence that seem human. Soon a rope moves in and around and an ominous musical passage intercedes,  I make it more disturbing by super-imposing it on an offbeat. A  pedal note builds tension until a burst of music  accompanies the violent removal of objects.

Eventually we are left in an empty warehouse, the music slow and dark, through the sound of wind we hear a female voice that becomes clearer and closer, ultimately expressing the beautiful optimism of redemption.

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