Sunday 29 October 2017

Arrival in Bangkok!!! It has been seven years. Seven years that seem to have flashed by and het left a deep trail behind.
The joy of the arrival quickly led to a big question mark: where was I to go? The plane had been delayed, a driver was supposed to pick me up but went back when he found out there was no Mr. Ton That at the airport. Ash faced an emergency and had to fly back to Vietnam for two days that weekend. I sat down on a bench, whilst exchanging messages with Ash to sort out a a way to go to the hotel where I was to stay. She was furious with her assistant who didn't seem to care about anything. "And on top of that, she is so rude! When I ask her to do certain tasks, she replies to me that so and so could do them as well. She's new and only does things according to her whim!" I found the situation a bit comical. Anyway, I was in Bangkok, so everything was fine!
Initially, I thought that it could be nice to stay in town and go to the studio every morning. Gob had even offered me to stay at his place as he was away. However, his flat was at the other end of the city, and Ash hinted that it would take me hours to come and go back. I had vaguely seen on a map that the metro line was being extended and serving new stations in the studio's area, but failed to notice that  highly crucial detail that those new stations were not yet finished! I quickly abandonned the idea and made it known - to the assistant, that I would stay at the same hotel as Ash and Roman. Instead, I asked to extend my stay by one week to enjoy Bangkok after our week doing the sound mixing. 
After some time, a driver eventually came to pick me up at the airport. Early flight in the morning, sleepy An in the afternoon! I dozed on and off, barely recognising the sights of a fast-changing city I had not seen for several years.

Roman came to meet me after I had made myself comfortable at the hotel. It was past lunch time, but the cook had left some food aside for us. I had never met Roman before. I only knew from Ash that he was a terrific sound recordist/mixer. "Award-winning soundman!" Ash wrote to me months earlier. Out of curiosity, I did some research and found out that he had done the sound for a few Naomi Kawase films, as well as Timbuktu. Among the Kawase collaboration, there was one in particular that I really liked, Still the Water. Unsurprisingly, but to illustrate how everything is connected, I was very sensitive to the sound in the film. I have no recollection of the music, but the sound had this sensuality and... musicality that I find rare in film. And as I was composing the score for The Third Wife, there was, somewhere in the back of my mind, the sound of Still the Water.
I saw a tall and blue-eyed man coming to meet me at the end of the alley. There was a communicative quietness and calmness about him which I instantly appreciated.
We discussed a little during lunch and decided to load and roughly edit all the music before Ash came back from Saigon. Roman showed me the studio where we were to spend the next week. It was as large as a movie theatre! The sight of the sound board was already impressive in itself. "It may look like a spaceship, but we will only use the middle part of it!" Roman said when he saw me looking from one end of the board to the other.
The music preparation took less time than we expected and we had the afternoon of the next day - a Sunday, free. It was a perfect opportunity to have a little walk in the centre of the city!
Now we are ready for the big work!