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out of the ordinary…

Posted on Sunday, March 11th, 2007

I had an out of the ordinary weekend. I went …. out.
Now I have to explain that of late I’ve been rather tied up with the movie 3:19 which is almost in post production, certainly at a stage where it looks and sounds marvellous. I’ve spent the last few weeks scoring and although the work has been relentless and pretty much against the clock it has also been very rewarding from an artistic point of view. The director, who I believe we will here more of in the future is Dany Saadia and I feel honoured that he has trusted me to help him realise his vision with my music. It has been somewhat challenging at times, certainly taking me outside my comfort zone (robin guthrie plays beethoven, anyone?) and a learning process for me. My experience in making music has often had less restraints, for example it has existed in it’s own right, and has had a life of it’s own. Scoring for a movie, where someone else is trying to tell a tale, albeit in a very interesting and unique way such as Dany is doing with this film, has a whole different set of disciplines and really puts a very interesting new aspect into the whole process of making music. I’m becoming part of the storytelling process and that, for me, is rather novel, to say the least. I’ve always, in a way, told stories with my music, but not ones that anyone other that myself could ever relate to in a tangible way while listening to an individual track. In a broader sense however, the story, if evident at all, exists in the journey that one is taken on while listening to an album I’ve made. I am talking specifically about my instrumental music here as this obviously doesn’t apply to something like Violet Indiana whose songs are a series of traumatic vingettes. With my instrumental music the narrative is grounded firmly in the the way that the music can make me feel when I listen to it. Everyone feels different, sure, and therefore the emotive quality is hugely personal. Sorry if this sounds like a ramble but there is a point and that is that I’ve spent the last few weeks doing music which is my reaction to someone else’s emotions and I can’t really think of a bigger shift in disciplines that I have ever made. True, I went through the same process when I did Mysterious Skin but this has affected me in a more profound way, perhaps due to being involved earlier in the production and having the knowledge that my music can have an impact on the way that the story is told. I think that any unease I do experience is down to the fact that I could misinterpret the story. When I make music for me I’m not really answerable to anyone.. mmm, hope I don’t fuck up ..

So anyway, as I was saying before I went off on one, I went out this weekend. Now I live in a small village, somewhat like the village in the first chapter of Resident Evil 4, near Rennes, France and due to simple stuff like my resident teenage daughter, Lucy Belle, going off to college in an obviously cunning move to avoiding her babysitting duties, I find myself, with the good Madame Guthrie, having not much of a social life due to having a small child and not knowing many folks around here. But this weekend the planets must have been lined up in a fashion that happens once every few years and, not only was our youngest, Violette, spending the weekend with her grandparents but we were lucky enough to find that our free time coincided with Traveling, Le festival de cinema de Rennes Metropole . Um, OK well they have been showing about a gazillion films and we couldn’t catch much but we did see Clean which I enjoyed and took the opportunity to listen to Olivier Assayas talking about his work and his view of cinema. He seemed like a very interesting man and I will be searching out more of his work.

The other high point of my weekend was going to see Buffet Froid as, what those charming frenchies call a ‘cine concert’ with an outstanding live soundtrack performed by Olivier Mellano. It was a long time since I saw the movie and I’d never seen it without subtitles so a few of the nuances were lost on me … you know, the moment the whole audience laughs except me… that kind of a thing.. But I really enjoyed it. It’s kinda sick and wrong and just seeing Depardieu in huge 70’s Y-Fronts just did it for me. you know, like the moment when the whole audience is quiet except me…. Olivier is one very talented young man and deserves to find a larger audience. I couldn’t really fault his interpretation and performance, which was perfect but I did manage to steal a tobelerone from his dressing room after the show.

Harold Budd : OK, perhaps I was a little unclear with my post about losing all my luggage and the music I’ve recently done with Harold Budd with it. Fact is, I did lose it but, well, I had it backed up so no big problem there. It would have fucked up my story if I’d said that, lost all the sense of drama and not given me much of an excuse for not getting the damn thing mastered and released ASAP. This situation however, is being remedied as we speak as I’m now in the process of getting everything together for release in the summer so I’ll post an update whenever I have some concrete dates. For those of you who care, if only to laugh at my misfortune, my luggage was delivered to my home approximately one week after being lost by the lovely lady with the little post van who normally delivers my Amazon orders. There were some interesting anomalies. It had evidently been opened and rummaged through and although expensive items like my laptop were still there some musical equipment, a couple of my shirts (XL), a large bottle of Listerine, (inexpediently something impossible to buy in France – er, um, I’ll not deliberate on this thought for too long – there’s a whole other web log entry to do about this), a John Fante novel and a James Elroy one as well.
Pondering over this I suggested to my daughter Lucy Belle that the person who took my stuff had to be an overweight musician, with bad breath and a liking of twentieth century American literature.
She looked at me with that look that only young people can make, usually towards parents. The look simply said “Are you are really trying to tell me that there is another idiot walking this planet who fits that description? If you are, you’re retarded”.
Of course not a word passed her lips.

13 Responses to “out of the ordinary…”

  1. Win Harrison

    Robin, I am so very pleased to hear you got (most of) your luggage back, and all of your CD is protected somewhere else. I can honestly say that I thought about the event all week. (A Robin Guthrie album LOST?!? He didn’t make a backup? And then went to notabely crappy LA airport?) Glad to see there is some hope.

    I do hope you got back your touring equipment. I would very much like to see you play, and my wife and I were disappointed to see that you had played in all places beautiful York UK 3 weeks before we visited. I enjoy your work tremendously, and I think readers should really take seriously the ideas about financially supporting an artist rather than just “sharing” CDs. (If you do that – consider yourself obliged to see the artist live.)

  2. mark

    Great news robin

    hope to see you this year.

  3. Matt McC

    It’s so good to know that there is another overweight Scotsman with baby sitting problems. It’s been a shitty day but this post made me laugh.

    Oh yeah, love the music, always have done.

    BTW caught the BBC Radio Scotland Classic album programme about Heaven or Las Vegas. Really good. It was interesting to hear the background but also to hear peoples thoughts on it.

    I saw the Cocteaus a few times and I think it was after a gig at the Barrowlands that I read a review that described the audience as yuppy couples listening to New Age music that they’d play to their babies. So I smiled a bit at the end of the programme when they added the bit that Liz was singing to Lucy Belle.

    Few things, I’ve never intentionally played any of your music to my 3 year old, Cocteaus or otherwise and I don’t recall many yuppies at the gig.

  4. Micah

    Thanks, Robin… I’m glad to hear you got your equipment back too. Of course, I wouldn’t’ve wanted you to have to spoil a good traveling-disaster story! 🙂

  5. starfish

    I must remember to read your blog earlier in the day, as it is after 10 p.m., and I have managed yet again to wake my daughter, wife (not amused), and likely the next door neighbors, with my loud outbursts of laughter. Robin, your writing/storytelling is on par with your music – exhilarating! Off to dry my jeans…

  6. OLe

    a John Fante novel huh?

  7. Stefano

    Woa! Robin! You play Resident Evil 4? Ahahahah! Such a coincidence! I am a great videogame-devoted since I was 12 (now I’m 35! argh!)! You can’t count the times I played Silent Hill with the ‘Victorialand’ lp doing the ost-duties! ^__^ You should try! PS: I also played Resident Evil 4 on my GameCube (the better version in my opinion)… GREAT GAME. Ste 😀

  8. puck hissing at lysander

    Yaaaaawwwwwn! What a snore-inducing post. Really Robgu, you must keep some of the Rock ‘N’ Roll fantasy alive for us.

  9. Robert

    When I used to live in Pau I used to drive 1h30 just to get to spain and buy listerine… I checked Carrefour, Auchan, Intermarché, Champion… they simply don’t have listerine…

    BTW did received the coffee?

    A bientot!

  10. mathieu

    Will the soundtrack will be available on CD???

  11. Gazza

    Hi Robin,

    I hope our current run of form is keeping you happy!* Berbatov is absolute class! I don’t know if you ever travel up to the Lane when you’re over here anymore but I hope you get to see Spurs play soon – some amazing games recently.

    I’m looking forward to hearing your work with Harold Budd and really, really looking forward to hearing the work you did with John Foxx, Steve Jansen and Bill Nelson.

    All the best Robin,


    *I’ve written this just before the game against Chelsea tonight – just hope our luck continues!

  12. Scott

    Robin, I laughed my ass off reading your travails. Other posts I’ve read have been equally entertaining and information (the “looper” comparisons for example). Seriously, your witting is excellent. Best regards to you and yours!

  13. michelle

    hellooooooooo, robin, just wondered why there isnt an official cocteaus myspace.there are alot of naff ones been set up by fans(most been taken off)do these annoy you?

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