L’envers du…des corps (Original Documentary Soundtrack)

Project: Bespoke music for the documentary film L’envers du…des corps by Clémentine Raphel (2021).

Total duration: 13 minutes 45 seconds (4 tracks)

I also worked in the editing room with the director which was highly enjoyable. I got involved in the video editing and she got involved in the music. Being in the editing room and making the music as the film was being edited is how I prefer to work, and I think it’s how the best work can be made.

It’s very important to me to get to know the film-maker, the film itself, to feel moved by it, to spend time with the film-maker – not only working but also chilling, talking about anything, playing.

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Libre et ancré was created in my daily music practice before the film project. It was an exercise where I was imitating Ritual from Illum Sphere. I basically sampled the composition (I didn’t sample the master) and later got the license from the publisher of the original work, splitting the writer’s share with the original composer, Ryan Hunn.

I think I proposed a bunch of pre-made music to the film-maker and she loved the piece that became Libre et ancré. Following her suggestions for the use of the music in her film, I made edits and finished the production of that piece accordingly.

So Libre et ancré gave us the tempo at the beginning of the editing of the film.

All the rest of the music was written and produced explicitly for the film.

Décor intérieur (Dreampad Theme) uses a steel tongue drum (see picture below) owned by Clémentine, gift from her brother. I played it with my fingers.

Le corps à nu was made for a specific vulnerable part of the film which needed an extra female energy. I first programmed the piano chords and exported it as a video – in sync with the part of the film where it plays – and sent it to Léa (Ms. Sticks) and asked her to improvise some humming over the piano, while watching the scene from the film. Not sure if she did many takes, but think I got just two files and used them both in layering. Because of the film’s theme and 100% of the characters being women, it felt important to involve a woman in the making of this music.

Libre et ancré (Costalenvers Remix) was made specifically to go with the final dance and end credits. I mixed together stems from Libre et ancré and Décor intérieur (Dreampad Theme). Luckily, both the kalimba and the steel tongue drum were in the same key – everything was perfect and felt effortless.


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