Archive for Fraser Watson

Film Sountrack: Count To 10

Posted in Film Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2015 by Gideon K


I was initially drawn into working on this film when Fraser said that he had a film and wanted something a bit dark and messed-up for it. I’ve been looking for a film project I could run with a little, and explore some more malevolent and frustrated musical moods. There aren’t always that many projects that will allow you to pour your own kind of diesel on them, so this was right up my street.

Strangely, early on when I was working on the music for this short, I showed the film to some people I know to see what their reactions were and they had no idea what the film was about. That was kind of strange to me as it seemed really obvious. But then I guess Fraser and I have similar voyeuristic sides and so on.

Anyway, this was actually quite a straightforward project to get done. Very simple. Fraser came round one evening and we sat in front of the film and discussed his ideas for what he thought the music could or should do in each bit. I would play around and sketch something musical on the computer with a keyboard, guitar or drum machine, and we would bounce some ideas around. Within about half an hour the basic skeleton for the two songs was done and then I developed them more on my own afterwards.

I have to give thanks to the two drummers who helped me out by playing on the recordings. Koko and PJ. The music would not have come out as well or as interestingly if not for them lending their skills. For one thing, I would have had to rely on drum software and while that has its uses, it is never the same as having a real drummer to record. Thank you both.

 

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Shadows: An Improvised Film Score

Posted in Film Music, Playing Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2015 by Gideon K

 

This was a really fun project to do. A few of us were discussing the idea of doing an improvised score for a silent film or something like that. We wanted to do something experimental. Luckily, our filmmaker friend Fraser Watson was really up for the idea. I like working with Fraser because apart from being very easy to get along with, anytime you throw out a weird idea at him, something that could potentially be really fucked up, he gets quite enthusiastic about it – which I find both amusement and enjoyment from.

We ‘commissioned’ Fraser to make a 3-act 15 minute silent short film, which he did with customary aplomb and speed. Then we got together a few times to ‘rehearse’, which was essentially jamming along as we watched the footage, talking about what worked, what didn’t, and deciding in advance a few parameters to put limitations on so that we could have a starting point. To quote Charles Mingus – “You can’t improvise on nothin’, man”.

I say jamming, which it was, but it was jamming with a purpose. We had the image to guide the feeling and tone we should have been trying to create.

 

The music on the film was recorded at a screening of the film at New River Studios with the 6 of us improvising along with the moving image. Andy Watzik recorded the whole thing on his laptop and after a little mixing, the music was synced to the film.

We were all excited by how it turned out, partly because it was quick and relatively painless to put the whole thing together, but also partly because it was an interesting surprise to see how it turned out. As far as I am aware, none of us had done anything quite like it before

We’re currently looking for more projects to do another improvisation to, so if anyone is interested in collaborating with us, get in touch.

 

The other musicians involved were (and still are presumably):

Stephan Barrett – Piano
Danny Conroy – Keys
Dan Strange – Saxophone
Andy Watts – Trumpet
Andy Watzik – Guitar

And me on bass.