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Thursday’s Fictions – Composer’s Reflections
by Michael Yezerski
Seven dances, seven days, seven musical landscapes.
I wanted each dance in Thursday’s Fictions to have its own musical dialect. Thus there are few immediately recognisable motifs that bind the overall score. The most prominent theme is the Song of the Fictions which we hear in full over the Thursday scene and then reprised in the Tuesday scene. Instead, I use rhythms and textures as unifying thematic devices as well as certain intervallic relationships: a minor seventh, a major ninth, a rising third.
The most important musical work in the film is The Ascension Dance. The climactic piece is really the fusion of all of the musical ideas in the ballet. A concerto for orchestra in two parts, a Chorale and Elemental Dance, the work is an exploration of rhythm, texture and colour. The musical language is borne of a series of interconnected modes and melodies based on the aforementioned intervals.
Thursday’s Fictions presented a wonderful opportunity for a composer: the chance to translate existing choreography into musical form, to reinterpret story, to apply colour. The director Richard James Allen and I talked at length of the fact that the music needed to be rich and complex in order to convey the infinite variances in the emotional arc of the story. To that end, the full complement of orchestral instruments are used along with a battery of ethnic percussion. I wanted parts of the score to explode with colour and life, in stark contrast to other sections that needed to alienate and disturb. Only with a vast instrumental palette is it possible to achieve this.
It is not often that you get a film in which music must be so present in the audience’s consciousness. Music is always vital to the language of film yet more often than not it is barely noticeable particularly these days when the trend seems to be towards ultra minimalism in film scores. I was privileged to score a film that wilfully bucks this trend and hopefully serves to remind audiences of the power and beauty that can be achieved in the synchronisation of music and film.
Thursday’s Fictions is another major work from the genre-busting Physical TV Company. I congratulate Richard and Karen on their achievement and I look forward to their next project.