Friday, 24 July 2020

with the musicians

The CD release is set to coincide with the day of the film premiere. Late nights working feverishly to finalise everything in time... Due to some misunderstanding, I thought that Wowy didn't agree to let the song Chạy be featured in the soundtrack. That's what can happen with the online chatting, answers and replies cross each other. Huy and I were discussing the shooting of another video that this time would feature a new version of the end credit music, with Wowy saying the text of Chạy in a totally manner - I asked him to leave out the rap style and be the most intimate possible. The result was astonishing. What a beautiful text! At some point, I said it was a pity the song Chạy wasn't to be on the soundtrack, to Huy's great surprise. "But... I thought Wowy AGREED to that" he exclaimed. A few words with Wowy clarified the situation. Yes, Wowy had agreed, but since I was asking him about getting writing credits for Chạy, after which he said "Yes sure", I thought he was replying to that. Anyhow, I spent half of the night checking the mix and doing the mastering, adding all the names and credits to the booklet, and send the song in time in the hope that the printing company had not already started the printing and pressing process. 
The next morning, Quang, the executive producer of the soundtrack told me to everyone's relief, that the company had not yet done anything. 
Ah, the wonder of the internet... to be able to collaborate with musicians around the world, even if I still prefer to be in the same room with them, just because the vibe and the connection are different.

Keith Lee lives in Hong Kong. I found it interesting to have his guzheng playing for a scene where the two boys fight on the railway (they fight a lot in the film!) and turn it into an almost balletic fight with the music. Keith told me that he had to do many takes because his little dog would bark during the recording - aaahhh pet animals and musicians...
I shall always remember the sessions with Vanessa for the prepared piano. I let her place all the little objects, from little screws of various sizes to various metallic objects, even a mini Christmas tree, erasers or pencils... After some time recording what she played, she and I both in a trance, as if drunk or on a high... The magic (witchcraft) of sound!

The erhu barely plays any melody in the film. Allen, was actually tuning his instrument and trying some screeching harmonic sounds in the higher register when I stopped him and asked him to do it again. He looked at me. "What?... That???" I gave him some instruction about what to play and he just did it without asking any other question. True, if someone had listened to what we were doing, he would have left the room within seconds!

The same kind of experience happened with Heng Han Hou. No melody for the violin, only some weird sounds going up and down, like a swarm of insects. To me, accidents open to new possibilities!

The other Allen (Wu ) proudly showed his hand drum one day after a concert. He really does magic with his percussion and brings soul to the rythms he plays, and he plays on just anything: a music stand, bowls, with two small pieces of paper...

I have lots of fun working with those musicians, but they also inspire me so much! 

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