More Tickets For British Sea Power’s Man of Aran Tomorrow

Plus, Martin Sea Power on the soundtrack

Tomorrow night, The Quietus and our friends at the Branchage Film Festival are putting on British Sea Power’s soundtrack to Man of Aran at the Union Chapel in London. You’ll be wanting to get there at 19.00 as British Sea Power are kicking things off at 19.15 with an acoustic trip around songs from their back catalogue. Rose Elinor Dougall will be up next at 20.00, before BSP return to the stage to perform their sumptuous accompaniment to Robert Flaherty’s film at 21.00. There are still a few tickets available here or on the door. The first couple of hundred people in will also get complimentary potatoes courtesy of friends of Branchage on the island of Jersey.

Always inspired by humanity’s place within nature, British Sea Power’s score is a fitting and thoughtful tribute to Flaherty’s pioneering documentary. Birdwatching BSP guitarist Martin Noble explains. So, Martin, what did British Sea Power find so inspiring about Man of Aran?

The way it’s filmed, and the shots that were chosen; Flaherty captured both the fantasy and the wonder to be found in the ordinary. The waves on the rocks are magical, probably more so as it is in black and white.

Why did you decide to take a new approach from the original score to the film?

The original is very jaunty, big band swing music, so we wanted to create the opposite atmosphere, and show another side of what Flaherty had captured on film. If the original soundtrack made you look through rose-tinted glasses, we have probably provided grey-tinted glasses with a hint of magic dust and fantasy sprinkled on the top.

How did that manifest itself in what you wanted to achieve in your own soundtrack?

I know that island life can be very hard, especially in winter, so we wanted that side, a harsh and bleak view of the Aran Islands, to surface.

Tell us a little about how you wrote and recorded it

Initially, we were improvising while watching the film, and other tracks were brought to the table by individuals. We recorded five full performances live, with the six of us spread out in three rooms. We listened back to them all and chose one particular take, which happened to be the most intoxicated of the performances.

What did you most enjoy about the process?

I love albums which can send you into dreamland, as they seem to open up different parts of your memory and mind, and you can drift off with your thoughts. I used to listen to Miles Davis’ In A Silent Way a lot on the night trains whilst inter-railing in Europe as a 16-year-old. I’d love to think someone is on a Eastern European night train listening to Man of Aran and dribbling down the window.

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