Recording and Production in the News
Dame Evelyn Glennie and Ian Dean extol the virtues of OrpheusCambridge, UK: International virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and her co-composer/producer Ian Dean recently integrated a Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire computer interface into their recording set up while working on the score for a new feature film entitled Golf In The Kingdom.
Recording sessions for the film, which is directed by Susan Streitfeld and due to be released later this year, took place at Glennie's studios in Cambridgeshire. The many intricate layers of percussion that flow around characters throughout the film were composed to picture by Evelyn and Ian. Their recording set-up included a MacBook Pro 17 running Digital Performer 7, Sonic Solutions SoundBlade and Pro Tools. The main mic array used to record Glennie's percussion instruments was a modified Faulkner array with Royer 122 ribbons and Schoeps MK4.
"We used the Prism Sound Orpheus as our audio interface and were really pleased with its performance," Ian Dean says. "Prism Sound's reputation for high quality converters is unquestionable, but equally impressive, in our opinion, were the Orpheus' mic pre amps. These were a perfect match for all of the mic arrays used and produced a collection of powerful, warm and rich tracks."
Glennie and Dean's film score is a unique soundscape that illuminates a mystical and enchanting world in which the game of golf is celebrated as a vibrant, close to supernatural and life-changing experience. Shivas Irons, played by David O'Hara, alters the mind and inner vision of a young Michael Murphy (Mason Gamble) and sets him off on a life journey of self-discovery that explores the metaphysical properties of 'true gravity'.
"Ian and I immensely enjoyed the challenge of creating a film score that utilised the huge collection of percussion instruments I have gathered during my travels all over the world," Glennie says. "We were aiming to create a 'different lyricism', a serious and contemporary approach that complements a glorious film, beautiful cinematography and world class acting."
Among the instruments recorded were Glennie's collection of full concert marimbas, vibraphones, gongs, bells, waterphones, drums, clappers and shakers, as well as the tiniest and most intricate rustlings of shells, fabrics and leaves. The brief was to create an 'organic' score, 'listening in a different way', 'illustrating the alchemy of music and sound', ranging from sounds that begin at the centre of the earth, through musical breathing, musical interpretations of flight, tree roots and 'all nature ringing inside'.
The writing and improvisation featured many polyrhythms and musical cell structures alongside manipulation of sound through a range of multiple speed techniques to create shifting transients, phasing, sub-harmonics and complex textures that Dean and Glennie 'orchestrated' in final layering.
"We feel that the score is powerful for many reasons, including the sheer energy that acoustic instruments bring to the texture," Dean adds. "We also enjoyed the unique challenges of writing a feature film score, concentrating on the spatial imagery, teasing out key elements through use of percussion voices and exploring the immense opportunities for 'unresolved dissonance'."
Golf in the Kingdom was pre-mixed in surround sound by Nigel Heath at Hackenbacker's audio post production facility in Soho, London. It is now in post-production at Warner Bros in Burbank CA.
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