UK-based ondes Martenot player
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the raveled sleave of care

A short film in which an insomniac attempts to face his fears.

 The Raveled Sleave of Care

A short film in which an insomniac attempts to face his fears.

As soon as Mark asked me to compose the soundtrack for this short film, I knew I wanted to impose a limitation before starting to sketch out ideas. I decided that I would limit myself to composing something that could be performed by an ondes Martenot quartet and a pianist.

One of the small graphical sketches that acted as a ‘score’ for part of this soundtrack. You can hear this in Excerpt 1 / ‘I’m Still Awake’.

One of the small graphical sketches that acted as a ‘score’ for part of this soundtrack. You can hear this in Excerpt 1 / ‘I’m Still Awake’.

My initial sketches and demos cited Olivier Messiaen’s ‘Fête des belles eaux’ as an inspiration, which i think is quite clear in some parts of the soundtrack, most notably in the first two extracts below. The rapidly ascending ondes part in the first excerpt is similar to one heard in ‘i. Premières fusées’, and the there are multiple nods throughout the soundtrack to the bursts of métallique trills in ‘vi. L'eau (à son maximum de hauteur)’.

One cue in the soundtrack (the third excerpt below) features some subtle electronics, which record and playback two of the four ondes Martenot parts at different speeds, forwards and reverse. A lot of the soundtrack was the result of free improvisation, and some parts of it were composed using small graphical scores, as opposed to more traditional musical notation.

The piano only features in the score over the credits, and was composed using a computer program which I set to generate random chords in a given scale.

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The soundtrack really brings the film to life, emphasising and complementing the narrative while creating a dynamic structure. I’m very pleased.
— Mark L.