Titled Claire Denis Film Scores 1995–2010, the boxed set includes the six soundtracks the band have done for the French filmmaker over the last fifteen years.
Ranging from Nenette et Boni (1996) to the recently acclaimed White Material (2009), it also includes 35 Shots of Rum (2008), Trouble Every Day (2001) and two solo soundtracks: Stuart Staples’ score for The Intruder (2004) and Dickon Hinchliffe’s score for the sensual Vendredi Soir (2002).
To accompany the release, the band will be performing a series of concerts in cinematic seetings, bringing together the music with the evocative images that inspired it.
After performing at the San Francisco Film Festival in May 2011, the project has gathered interest and momentum and further performances are being scheduled across Europe in 2011.
The first of these to be announced is at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 26th April (19:30) in conjunction with the British Film Institute, with a special screening of Nenette et Boni at the BFI Southbank on the 27th April (18:30, NFT1), followed by an onstage Q&A with Claire Denis and lead singer Stuart Staples, discussing their work together and artistic affinity.
* UPDATE 29/03/11: You can now listen to some of the tracks on Soundcloud.
Staples has said in a statement:
“Sometime in Paris ‘95, I thought it was La Cigalle, she says it was the Bataclan, I’m not sure. That is where we met anyway, one of those places, after a concert. She was writing the screenplay for Nenette et Boni and something in our song ‘My Sister’ had clicked with her, she asked us if we would like to make the music for the film. We had film scoring pretensions, soundtrack music had always been a thing of David’s from when we met way back (though we could barely play, we had dreams).
It seemed the right next move for us, it fitted with the energy and flow of our band. We had this thing about Miles Davis’ Lift to the Scaffold. Passing through Paris he stopped off at the studio with his band and recorded the score right there and then, in a day, watching the film for the first time and reacting musically. Seemed like a good place to start. I suppose the essence was there, that’s how we began, and after a few fumbling months we delivered the music for Nenette et Boni, nervously. That’s how it all started, maybe we just got on, had some kind of understanding; we have never really talked about it. I was told she said in an interview that we understand her films before she does; maybe that’s true in some way, but I think she was just being gracious.
Approaching each film has always asked us to step into an unknown, stretch ourselves and do things we did not think we were able. At the end we always feel changed in some way. This has fed into all our other music and is a contributing factor to why we’re still struggling to catch our ideas after all these years, still frustrated and fascinated in equal measure. Other people have asked us to score their films, but we always reached a point where we realised that the freedom and conversation Claire affords (and expects from) us is not there, and then it becomes something different, making music for a purpose (money?) – something we’re well aware we have never been very good at.”
The soundtracks will be available for the first time together on CD, vinyl and download on Constellation Records and are released worldwide on April 26th 2011.