Take the atmosphere of a jazz club. Lights down. A little darker. A shade more D minor. A touch of noir. The 606’s first experiment with a band playing to a movie worked well.
There was even a coup de theatre moment as the original soundtrack gave way to the live band, a moment when one discovered quite how uncannily Martin Shaw on (real) trumpet could inhabit the (recorded) persona of Miles Davis. This was a very seasoned band who negociated well the task of bringing out moments of tension and release in the score. For a plot involving nocturnal thieving, the light fingers of Leon Greening on piano were ideal. Andy Panayi was on tenor, for me reminiscent of the harmonically busy Don Byas. Bassist Geoff Gascoyne and drumer Sebastiaan de Krom have a long habit of working together: their communication and common purpose were authoritative, secure, telepathic. It all contributed to a special and sustained atmosphere.
The artistic director of the Sound on Screen Festival Andreas Boyde had made this first selection of extracts from the film. I would say the time passed quickly, and I sensed the audience would happily have taken on more music and more film.
Sebastiaan de Krom was MC’ing the evening. He did it well, the content was interesting, but I found there was slightly too much of it. But be fair, this was a first shot at something new. Next time round his script is bound to be tighter.
It was Carl Jung who said “know your own darkness.” And what a great idea that was.