Part 1. BBC Monitor and the Use of Audio-Visual Form as Musicological Comment. The medium that Russell first gained traction in was not in fact film but in television documentaries. The flop of his first feature film, French Dressing (1964), marks the advent of his daring creativity entering into his work as television director; a role he had begun at the BBC for their documentary … Continue reading A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 2 (Monitor and Bartok).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Musical Avant-Garde and Overt Anachronisms in Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971). “I think the other thing that appealed to me was the rural setting. The nooks and crannies of woodland, the edges of fields the ploughing, the sense of soil was something I tried to bring into the picture” – Piers Haggard (Gatiss, 2010, BBC). … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 6 (Blood on Satan’s Claw).
The Russell Prism: How Ken Russell’s Auteuristic Aesthetics Presents a Reception Study of Classical Music and its Composers. The following essay was a dummy-run dissertation for my Masters course before realising that the subject had already been covered thrice in audio-visual academia. Though none of three essays analyse or go into the depth of the work (instead choosing to shoehorn their own subject matter through … Continue reading A Musicological Study of Ken Russell’s Composer Films – Part 1 (Introduction).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Diegesis in The Wicker Man. Some of the music assessed in the last section raised further questions besides their thematic and narrative content. Though this element was an important part of the analysis, another aspect almost appeared to be ignored; that of the diegesis of such performances. For a horror film, The Wicker Man presents the viewer … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 5 (The Wicker Man’s Diegesis).
It must have come as a political shock to see a film in 1965 highlight, with such casual brutality, the privilege of the male patriarch. Agnès Varda’s third feature, Le Bonheur, is such a contradiction in its conveyance of a happiness, ignorant of morality, that its shock is rarely diminished. The film is a colourful, seasonal evocation of a very unusual ménage à trios which … Continue reading Mozart in Le Bonheur (1965) – Agnès Varda.
Part 1. Part 2. Tradition Through Folk Aesthetics in the Music of The Wicker Man (1973). The first case study film for this essay is Robin Hardy’s 1973 film, The Wicker Man. Though it is the latest of the films to be looked at, it has the most complex relationship with its music, formed entirely of its own accord rather than on folk horror practices … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 3 (The Wicker Man’s Folk Aesthetics).
Part 1. Thematic Material of the Folk Horror Chain. “Grendel was the name of this grim demon, haunting the marches, marauding round the heath and the desolate fens; he had dwelt for a time in misery among the banished monsters, Cain’s clan, whom the creator had outlawed and condemned as outcasts.” (Heaney, p.6, 1999). Though the historic and cultural factors around why folk horror was … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 2 (Folk Horror Chain and Witchfinder General).
The Sounds of Sacrifice: The Music of British Folk Horror Films. Introduction. In the late 1960s and the early 1970s, a small group of horror films made in Britain set themselves apart from the rest of the genre, becoming an aptly cult phenomena now acknowledged under the banner of folk horror. As a newly recognised sub-genre, it can be difficult to assess though, as new … Continue reading The Music of Folk Horror – Part 1 (Sub-Genre Theories).
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Conclusions “The link between art and real history is the fact that works of art are structured like monads. History may be called the content of works of art. Analysing them is the same as becoming conscious of the immanent history stored up in them.” Adorno (1970, p.126). The bedrock of this essay has been to show how Ligeti’s … Continue reading Ligeti’s Atmosphères as a Musical Foreshadowing of Kubrick’s 2001- Part 4 (Conclusions)
Ligeti’s Atmosphères as a Musical Foreshadowing of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Introduction. “First in Cologne in 1957 and later during my long stay in Vienna in the ’60s, I gradually evolved a musical style in which I abandoned structures conceived in terms of bars, melodies, lines and conventional forms. In this respect my first two orchestral works, Apparitions and Atmosphères, are the most … Continue reading Ligeti’s Atmosphères as a Musical Foreshadowing of Kubrick’s 2001- Part 1 (Introduction)