Sounds of Silence | Faithful Heart
vr 29 okt 2021 13:12
Met muziek van Ziv Taubenfeld, Marie Guilleray, Ilya Ziblat and Onno Govaert
Jean Epstein’s Cœur Fidèle (Faithful Heart) established the great French filmmaker as one of the most inventive directors of silent cinema. A tale of a barmaid oppressed by an exploitative foster family who attempt to push her into the arms of an unscrupulous man. Yet Marie’s heart (exuberantly vivified by Gina Marès) belongs, as far as she’s concerned, to the tenderly Jean (Léon Mathot). Cœur Fidèle drives its simple story (which, with its infamous and exhilarating ‘carousel sequence’, helped pave the way for the narrative tradition of such Murnau masterworks as Sunrise and City Girl) on into the realm of what might be considered an early incarnation of French poetic realism — all while still anticipating Epstein’s magical, post-surrealist, later works.
Music by Ziv Taubenfeld (bass-clarinet), Marie Guilleray (voice and electronics), Ilya Ziblat (contrabass and electronics) and Onno Govaert (drums).
The hybrid jazz-electro soundtrack will be performed by a contrabass, drums, bass clarinet, and electronics. The music will not only take the plot into consideration, but also the characters’ psychology, using it as a starting point for musical exploration and interaction. The choice of instrumentation offers a rich sonic palate: the rhythmical framework created by the rhythm section (drums and bass without harmonic instrument like piano or guitar, leaving the acoustic space open), the virtuosity and richness of the bass clarinet player, and the versatility of the computer musician. The cinematic narrative is based on a melodramatic approach, demanding great sensitivity to human feelings and values: Marie’s struggle to escape her abusive boss/lover, the destructive forces of gender clash, a story of survival within the gritty, harsh existence of a low-class life. To that, the music adds an engaging accompaniment, a layer of sensitive sonic interpretation. Faithful Heart is an ideal match for a live soundtrack: the movie’s rhythmical shots (reaching a glorious climax in the famous carousel scene) provides endless opportunities for instrumental virtuosity; the photomontage editing suggests a multilayered space, sonified by a mix of acoustic instruments and the electronics; and above all, the director’s sensitivity to the characters’ psychology demands sincere interaction within the ensemble, and between each of the musicians and their own instrument.