︎Soundtrack To A Silent Film

︎ £9 (album)
︎Epistrophe Smith

︎released: 1st June 2016

︎A contemporary electronic soundtrack to the epic 1914 Italian film. The rich soundtrack boasts a textured harmonic flavour and fuses elements of improvisation with electronica. Along with more traditional orchestrated sections are sub bass, crunchy snares, clicky noises and a barrage of cymbals.

In 2015 Epistrophe Smith composed a contemporary electronic soundtrack to the classic 1914 silent film ‘Cabiria’ which he performed live to a screening of the film in two dates in October 2015.  This wonderful performance was recorded and filmed to create the aptly named album ‘Soundtrack for a Silent Film’.
Cabiria is directed by Giovanni Pastrone.  It has been characterised as the first epic film ever made, and according to Martin Scorsese, saw the first use of the moving camera.  The music of Epistrophe Smith has been described as 'electronica alive with ambition…[his music] wants to take you on a journey and play; and that’s what it does - with infectious curiosity’ - Danny Balla

The idea of writing for film has been a consistent thought since I started composing music. Captivating moving picture with beautiful sound design is a true inspiration for me. A conversation on the subject developed between myself and a friend, and a year later I was getting ready to perform two shows entitled Soundtrack To A Silent Film.

The music was scored over a three month period and aims to integrate my love of live performance with electronic music. The soundtrack seeks to offer a textured palette full of varying tempos, styles and moods, able to sit alongside each other, and the images on screen, without seeming out of place.

The work was captured live in one take and has a large amount of improvisation, which is always important to me. Using that technique means there are glitches and mistakes I initially felt may detract from the work, but now after completion I feel comfortable with, and almost listen out for. The performance was a complex process; keeping an eye on the film, managing the computer, and playing the live instruments was an interesting challenge, but one I nevertheless enjoyed.

For me, the juxtaposition between two differing mediums can offer something new, and this project pushed my creativity in a way I hadn’t achieved previously. I was adamant I wanted the music to work alongside the film, as well as a standalone work, and this dual purpose meant I had to think extremely hard about how to compose each track.

The end result is a soundtrack pushing through many layers of my musical influences. Composition techniques I have learned some time before, yet seemed to have no feasible outlet so up until now have never seen the light of day. It’s a project I’m extremely happy with, and has definitely improved my skills as a musician and composer. I really do hope you enjoy the music and see the value it has, it’s a special one for me.
- Epistrophe Smith