| Cinematic Orchestra (UK):
Jason Swinscoe - keyboards, electronics
Phil France - double bass
Luke Flowers - drums
Steve Brown - keyboards
Patrick Carpenter - turntables
Tom Chant - saxophone, horn
"An unusual and frankly remarkable project"
In 1999, Ninja Tune quietly released Motion
by a group calling themselves
The Cinematic Orchestra.
It was one of the surprise critical hits of the year, described
as "one of the most innovative and brilliant albums the label
has put out" (DJ) and ending that season topping the polls
of the likes of Gilles Peterson.
The album was the work of one J. Swinscoe - actually a former
Ninja employee - and a group of adventurous jazz musicians. Swinscoe's
background took in both playing in various harcore acts and DJing house
sets on London pirates, but his method (playing the band samples, getting
them to jam around with them, recording that and then resampling and sequencing
the results) and the results he got with it captured the imagination of
listeners from all musical backgrounds.
The following year saw the release of an album of remixes that won Swinscoe
still more acclaim, the broadsheets now taking note and The Guardian claiming
that "it's frighteningly rare that a musician in a contemporary field
brings so much generous knowledge and that magical tranforming power to
their work, inviting you inside their world and introducing you to a new
way of listening."
In addition, the group's live shows were beginning to gain them still
more attention and it was one of these performances which provided the
impetus behind the new album, Everyday.
Almost a household name in Portugal, Swinscoe and co were commissioned
to write and perform a new score for Dziga Vertov's avant
garde classic Russian film Man With A Movie
Camera for the Porto Film Festival.
Both the track of that title and "Evolution" had their
basis in their performance to 3,500 people and other tracks on the
album grew from elements in it.
But Cinematic have evolved as a group, too. J. always felt that the rest
of the band's input was underestimated, but now he and bass-player Phil
France very much share writing duties (even flying out to St Louis together
to record the legendary Fontella Bass). In addition, the input of DJ Food
man PC has been invaluable and J. points to the new impetus given to the
band by the arrival of Luke Flowers. He smiles when he remembers the drummer's
first show with the group, at Ronnie Scotts as part of Ninja's ten year
anniversary: "He blew people's minds…"
As for 'Everyday,' J. considers it to be a more mature work than 'Motion,'
not in a tired-old-rocker way, but perhaps in the fact that the increasing
confidence of everyone in the group allows them to develop the music at
a pace which is right for the ideas, rather than a preconceived notion
of a four minute pop song. But J. also points to a new simplicity to the
music, an emotional directness that doesn't have to confuse matters with
nods to Lalo Schiffrin or Miles Davis or anyone else.
At root, though, J.'s basic impetus has stayed consistent throughout.
"We're trying to make music not 'muzak'. We're
trying to make something which can achieve some kind of longevity...."
Maturity, emotional weight, musical longevity. In the days of Pop Idol,
these may not be the most fashionable ideas. They can even leave you open
to ridicule. But confidence is confidence and the results speak for themselves.
If you don't get it, fuck you. Go and do something more boring instead…
Fresh from a UK and European tour in support for their critically-acclaimed
second album for Ninja Tune, 'Every Day,' J.Swinscoe and band are now
set to present their latest unique and groundbreaking musical offering
- a live score to the classic silent flick 'Man with a Movie Camera'.
In late 1999, Swinscoe was asked by the organisers of the Porto Film Festival
if the band wanted to score a soundtrack to a silent movie. It seemed
a perfect opportunity to expand the ideas of TCO into the world which
had givne them their name. But the difference was this was for a one off
live performance. The film was Dziga Vertov's 'Man With A Movie Camera,'
a 1929 early documentary cinema film from the Soviet Union. The performance
in a old theatre space in Porto ended with a standing ovation of 3,500
people. Since that evening TCO have performed the score live at film festivals
from Turkey to Scotland.
But the work also had a formative influence on the album that was to become
'Every Day'. Certain tracks that made it on to the album were written
specifically for the score, but more than that it made Swinscoe and the
band think in terms of combining sounds and textures and unfolding narratives
over a period of time using those sounds. In particular, the title 'Every
Day' was based on the narrative in the film, which portrays a day in the
life of an idealised Soviet society, starting fom people waking up in
the morning, moving through various work place ideas, then into leisure
time and then back into the cinema...
Now TCO will take this unique project on a theatre tour starting at the
Barbican in March and Ninja Tune will release a studio-recorded live DVD.
An unmissable event and a must for cinephiles as well as music lovers,
this promises to be a unique experience.
© Jûratë Kuèinskaitë
Official Cinematic Orchestra site: www.cinematicorchestra.com
Umezu / Masahiko Satoh
Kazutoki Umezu - alt sax, soprano sax, clarinet, bass clarinet
Masahiko Satoh - jazz pianist, composer, arranger
Manfred Leuchter - accord.
Heribert Leuchter - sax
Christoph Titz - trumpet
Antoine Pütz - b, guitar
Afra Mussawisade - dr
Fredrik Nordström - ts,
Magnus Broo - tp,
Mattias Stahl - vib,
Filip Augustson - b,
Fredrik Rundqvist - dr
Myra Melford - piano, harmonium
Cuong Vu - trumpet
Stomu Takeishi - bass
Elliot Humberto Kavee - dr
Power Trio & Darius Èiuta
Juozas Milaðius - g
Skirmantas Sasnauskas - trombone
Arkady Gotesman - dr
Darius Èiuta - pc
Saadet Türköz - voc
Urs Leimgruber - sax
Michael Gassman - trumpet
Vincenzo Mingiardi - guitar
Roberto Bonati - double bass
Roberto Dani - drums