Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Man of Aran/British Sea Power

Sorry for the days off. I'm in London and thought I'd get around to posting something but I've been busier than I thought. Last night I did do something kind of special and unique related to film + music: I watched British Sea Power perform to a silent movie in an old church called Union Chapel.

In the past I've seen films such as Joan d'Arc with an orchestra/choir, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari with the electronic group IQU and a few others. This time it was the 1934 Robert Flaherty silent Man of Aran with the English band British Sea Power performing their own score for the film.

The setting of the performance really added to the atmosphere. Union Chapel is kind of this seen better days church but still beautiful. Creaky church pews lined the floor and its circular, two storied interior created a very intimate room for film and music. I'm a big fan of British Sea Power and actually own the album that they released with the soundtrack so that upped my enjoyment as well. 

Man of Aran is a stark look at the existence of the lives of people on rugged isles off the coast of Ireland. Lots of shots of crashing waves and gathering seaweed. It's a harsh existence on the island and British Sea Power deliver a haunting series of songs to accompany the film. The long scenes with the boats going after sharks with British Sea Power going with four guitars, violin, horn and pounding drums was intense and one of the highlights of the evening. 

This was a lot of fun and I wish I could do this more--it really aids to the enjoyment of silent films when you get to see it with a full band rather than any rinky-dink silent scores that often accompany the original.

***Photo by Paul/Virtual Biscuit...check the link out to his flickr account in the comments field. Thanks Paul!***


Anonymous said...

hi, i was also at the union chapel gig last night. i posted a shot here which you can use if you like:

i used this shot rather than one with a scene from the film because they dimmed the lights shortly after the start, and i wanted to show some of the union chapel structure which is beautiful.


Joshua Blevins Peck said...

Thanks a lot Paul for letting me know and use your photograph...I was lucky that my visit to London matched up for this as this was a real highlight for me.

I'd like to see other gigs at Union Chapel.

the hidden staircase said...

so special! how can it get any better with film and a band that you know and like?! i've heard of this union chapel...glad you got to enjoy it!