Ferrabosco lyra viol film ‘Corants’ premieres in Berlin

One fun thing that happened this spring was that I got to collaborate with the filmmaker Samuel Dowd. He makes beautiful things using an old French hand-held 16mm camera from the 1960’s, and his idea was to create a sort of portrait of me and the instrument. The film starts in my apartment, warming up, drinking coffee, talking about the viol, and then we move to a beautiful but freezing cold church tower where he filmed me playing two Corants for lyra viol by Alfonso Ferrabosco II.

This was a bit of an adventure for me because I, for the first time, became heavily involved in the editing and mixing of a film. I’d done sound editing before on a few recording projects, but it was a different kettle of fish when syncing comes into the mix (because the sound was digital and the film was, well, film). The steepest learning curve for me was the mixing. Dealing with the performance part was OK, but it got complicated when I had to create a blend between ambient apartment noise, my own voiceovers, and bits of my playing. I literally spent more than an hour trying to crossfade two different kettle sounds in order to make an organic transition.

The film premiered on 24 October at Westgermany Gallery in Neuköln in Berlin. I popped over and played a little solo set at the opening, which was such a good time. I love playing baroque music for an unexpected audience of art scene people, sitting on the floor of a former dentist’s office that has only just barely been converted into a really quite underground gallery space. It’s very reaffirming to find that even a random movement of Telemann can actually be an incredibly vibrant performance experience, when taken outside the walls of a concert hall.

These pictures are from the filming of Corants, taken by Joseph Walsh. I’ll post an excerpt from the video here soon, so watch this space!

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