The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Tara Busch On Suspense Soundtrack
Luke Turner , March 10th, 2011 11:56

To be performed at Birds Eye View tomorrow

One of the stand-out events of the current Birds Eye View film festival more information here) is tomorrow's Sound & Silents event at the South Bank Centre. This sees a host of musicians, including Micachu, Imogen Heap (read about her sountrack here), Blue Roses and Tara Busch performing live accompaniments to silent film. We caught up with Busch to find out about the music she's composed to accompany Suspense... How did you get involved with this year's Birds Eye View?

Tara Busch: I was approached by Rachel Millward who is the founder - she saw my rescore of the 1956 film Red Balloon that I made last year, and, to my delight, asked that I be involved in Sounds and Silents.

So you're no stranger to soundtracking... tell us a little about your past work in the field?

TB: I actually started out scoring mainly commercials, but have always wanted to get into scoring films; last year, I finished a rescore of the 1956 classic, The Red Balloon - a film I always loved very deeply. I've just finished Suspense, and am now working on a new sci fi film funded by the Welsh Arts Council called The Silence which will also be performed live to picture. I've certainly fallen in love with the medium of composing & performing live film scores, and have many more coming up.

How did you approach Suspense? Did you choose the film?

TB: I did not choose the film, Rachel did. I found it to be an enticing piece to score. Lois Weber was not only the first woman in the United States to direct a film, but also the first person to use split screen as a technique. As she really pushed her technical & creative boundries, and this inspired me to try to cook up a score that reflected her "futurist" attitude. So, I tried to delve as deeply as I could into not only the technology that I have access to, but push myself "beyond the obvious" with the writing and vocal arrangements... I also drew a lot of inspiration from listening to the works of Delia Derbyshire and BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Gil Melle's The Andromeda Strain, Michael Small's Klute & Jerry Goldsmith's The Omen and Logan's Run and Clint Mansell's Pi. All very forward-thinking soundtracks in my opinion.

What have you tried to bring out with your soundtrack?

TB: The characters in the film are very animated, so I wanted the score to really push those characteristics as far as possible - make the villian even more sinister, make the victim more innocent and frail and the hero more intense.

Are you lugging a load of synths down to London for it?

TB: Of course! Loads of analogue sweetness courtesy of Moog Music... my first show ever with my new Minimoog Voyager! The digital side of the spectrum is Ableton Live with an AKAI APC 40.

And, as a female artist, why do you think festivals like Birds Eye View are important?

TB: I can't speak for other festivals, but Birds Eye View are very inclusive & welcoming, they celebrate creativity and focus on great art made by women - not things famous women do.

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.