After a year of hiatus from the split of the band Honeytone Cody, Elliot Nelson and Martell James return in the form of ‘The Wolf and the Ape’. It was never the intention for the duo to work on soundtrack music for an 87 year old cult film like Man With A Movie Camera until it was proposed out of the blue by organiser of independent cinema ‘Kinofolk’ Barry Yates.
Barry understood the sensibility of the duo and offered a silent film for them to try their hand at, something which was a dark, abstract social commentary of 1929 Russia. It embellishes images of which struck a chord with both Elliot and Martell triggering a chain reaction of musically styles across the board. Sinister undertones are rooted throughout the soundtrack which are then pushed and pulled with drum rhythms, mellon collie acoustic guitars and Charangos (Bolivian lutes). This is to name but a few of the instruments involved in the process.
It was a gruelling experience for the pair while holding down full time day jobs and writing, playing all the instruments, mixing and producing the soundtrack; it became a marathon life style. Working until 4.30am on music and then going to their day jobs at 9am, this was the daily routine for over the course of the next 7 months.
Production became a mixture of live instruments married with synths while recording to the edits of the film. Once the initial music was recorded they then proceeded to record two live drum kits. The process involving live double drums was recorded away from the confines of their attic studio. Restricted to a small time frame the pair not only had to record themselves but nail the takes very quickly on the drums to the edits of the film. From there onwards it was new territory for Elliot and Martell having to now engineer and mix their own music. The result is something very different and completely unique, the musical mirror of everything which represents Man With A Movie Camera.
Man With A Movie Camera is the first of many events to come for ‘The Wolf and the Ape’. They are planning on releasing the soundtrack later on this year, and then touring across the UK thereafter playing live to the film.
Kinofolk Presents Man With A Movie Camera:
Monday August 15th 7:15pm, The Basement - City Screen. Tickets £6. Age Cert: U
This playful film is at once a documentary of a day in the life of the Soviet Union, a documentary of the filming of said documentary, and a depiction of an audience watching the film. Even the editing of the film is documented. We often see the cameraman who is purportedly making the film, but we rarely, if ever, see any of the footage he seems to be in the act of shooting! Part documentary and part cinematic art, this film follows a city in the 1920s Soviet Union throughout the day, from morning to night. Directed by Dziga Vertov, with a variety of complex and innovative camera shots, the film depicts scenes of ordinary daily life in Russia. Vertov celebrates the modernity of the city, with its vast buildings, dense population and bustling industries. While there are no titles or narration, Vertov still naturally conveys the marvels of the modern city.