Dealin’ with the Devil: The Music

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On this page you’ll find some notes on the music in the film. I’ll add more as time goes on.

Where the Sea Meets the Sky

I’d been looking at some of the Sugimoto’s sea scape photos. I tend to be down to visual images when composing. I picked up my guitar, which was in open D tuning, and the song was just there, fully formed. It’s very simple – starting on the tonic (2nd string, fifth fret) and moving down to the 6th for the first phrase, then starting in the same place and going up to the dominant for the second phrase. It falls under the slide very naturally.

The version in the film opens with a cello solo based on the chords implied by the melody, and then the melody is played by the two violins – Craig played the notes straight, while Anna glasses to the new notes, creating an effect that replicates the slide guitar origins of the piece. The song has very few words, but I found that with the variations that come from the different combinations of instruments, and a short spoken bridge, that those few words were all that was needed.

It’s a very simple tune, but probably the one that I am most happy with in the film. I regard this song as the destination point for the film, and the tune that follows it – Little Bit of Heaven is like an epilogue, and something that leaves us with a more ‘up’ feeling.

Embryonic Blues

I was thinking last night about Ralph’s video clip in the film Embryonic Blues –  I was thinking that I say in the film that Ralph’s songs are based on the world around him, and yet the video I’ve included of him is a generic “went to see the doctor” blues. I used that one since it’s a better music video and better performance than some of the other videos I have of him. But then I realised… When we shot that clip Ralph told me the songs was a generic doctor blues – but thinking about when he wrote it, it’s anything but. He wrote the song, and we shot the video, after his diagnosis, but before he told his friends about his having Hep C. So the song is about having a disease “deep within you” that you’ve had as long as you can remember. “I went to see the doctor…is there any cure? There’s nothing I can give you there’s nothing I can do…. Bad luck comin’, that’s  for sure.”

So – there was nothing left to chance in Ralph’s lyrics.