02/02/2011 | by Alex Dick-Read
A film by Jon Frank + Australian Chamber Orchestra
This serene collaborative piece shot by Jon Frank and played by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, which is headed up by Richard Tognetti of Musica Surfica fame, is part of a larger collaboration by Frank, Tognetti and the ACO. Here’s what Jon Frank has to say about the whole thing:
“The Glide was a fascinating project to work on. It is a concert which runs for about 1 hour and 20 mins and features music composed by JS Bach, Elgar, Strauss, Shostakovich, a traditional sea shanty and a couple of pieces by RT himself. It’s all about the ocean and surfing and how it feels to be surrounded by water and space and light. The concert orchestra perform on what is essentially a dark stage, music lit by small lights on black music stands, in front of a giant projection of the motion and still images. The concert premiered in Maribor, Slovenia in 2009 and selected excerpts have been performed in New York, Noosa and Margaret River.
It came about initially from Richard allowing me to use one of his recordings of solo violin (Bach ‘Chaconne’) for a film featuring footage from a trip I had shot in Iceland on my old Bolex 16mm camera. I suppose RT saw it and thought it was worth exploring. After all, he is a very keen and competent surfer himself, perhaps he saw it as a way to merge two of his loves?
It comprises footage shot almost exclusively on 16mm film and also spends some time moving through and around some still photographs.
The Elgar ‘Sospiri’ is set with footage from Waimea Bay that I had shot in 1999 and re-discovered. I thought it would be perfect for the piece.
I’m not an expert on classical music but I have always marvelled at how fresh and alive these compositions feel, in some cases hundreds of years after they were written. It’s no accident that film score composers use classical music to convey emotion in a scene. The notes don’t fuck around, they cut straight to your core.
‘The Glide’ or possibly our latest collaboration ‘The Crowd’, may be coming to London for a couple of performances, which might interest readers based in the UK. No confirmed dates as yet, and no, ‘The Crowd’ is not a study of crowded line-ups (perhaps it could have been), but more a meditation on human and animal crowds and their behaviour.”