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Hat on a hat

This will be the first commission in which I use music. I have always steered clear of it in the past: partly because, I think, it can so easily take over; also because it is often used manipulatively as an emotional varnish, providing a smooth reflective surface for your feelings. But this time I want to base the whole installation around a soundtrack; one that doesn’t put a “hat on a hat”, as the film composer Nicholas Britell describes it, where the music simply amplifies what you are already seeing. Instead the music for Surface Tensions will carry its own meaning, a subtext to what you see. With these thoughts in mind, it was great to listen to Only Artists this morning on the way into work: a conversation between actor Tom Hiddleston and the composer for If Beale Street Could Talk, Nicholas Britell. It was the immersive soundtrack of Beale Street that most impressed me about that film, which I saw last week at our local independent Sherborne Cinema. [Oh, yes, the picture: both Tom and Nicholas’ interest in movie music started with Chariots of Fire.]

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