Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dead Rat Orchestra's documentary soundtrack

Saturday again, and we're going up to Concord to see Sean in the Tempest this afternoon. He is the Boatswain, a small but fairly entertaining part by my read. (He's got a really big part in Titus -- Titus himself -- so they try to even things out so that no one has too many lines to memorize.) Anyway, looking forward to that. I do love the Tempest, but I'm mostly looking forward to seeing my boy again, at least for a little while.

Also, this review went up Wednesday or Thursday at Blurt.

Dead Rat Orchestra
The Guga Hunters of Ness
(Critical Heights)

In their soundtrack for a BBC documentary set in remote northern Scotland, the Dead Rat Orchestra manages to convey foggy expanses of indefinite sea, the high keening of birds, the rhythmic thump and grind of physical labor. The Guga Hunters of Ness was composed in support of a film on a dying tradition - the annual hunting of gannets, a kind of sea bird, on a desolate rock off Scotland in the North Atlantic. Arranged for organ, strings, guitar and rough-housing drums, it borrows heavily from traditional Celtic sounds, yet it is also quite modern, minimalist and atmospheric. It was quite clearly written to supplement imagery and narrative, and yet it stands well on its own in a half-melancholy, half-uplifting sort of space.


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