A Music Residency program.
In January 2017, muscian David McLean and pulp fiction writer Phil Carney embarked upon a Samarbeta residency at Islington Mill. Over the course of 10 days, the pair collaborated with a large ensemble of local 17 musicians and 4 actors to produce a new suite of compositions.
This residency was a direct collaboration between musician David McLean, who composed and performed the music along with the large ensemble and Phil Carney, Bletchley’s only hard boiled pulp fiction writer, and owner of Bullet Proof Press, who wrote the script of 6 acts and curated the exhibiton that accompanied the live show.
The relationship between the iconography of Film Noir and Jazz has long been inseparable and marks a source of profound fascination and influence on both Carney and McLean and their respective practices. Their aim was to create an evolving and highly dramatic suite of narrative led music based around Carney’s writing, essentially creating several ‘Scenes’ which were performed by actors in a homage to small ensemble chamber theatre and the classic Film Noir monologue.
It was the collaborators contention that it is extremely rare that music is written explicitly to accompany narrative outside of cinema. The project’s intention, and ultimately relaisation, was to reverse that, a collusion explicitly dependent on writing, musical composition and acting to create a new kind of ‘Film Noir theatre’, one that can be performed in music venues and specifically Islington Mill.
They believe that this multidisciplinary approach to performance is a unique one. Whenever spoken word is employed in music, which is rare enough, it has been their experience that often the music is fairly divorced from what is happening narratively. In this residency, that was reversed; the music and even foley devices (gun shots and other sound effects) directly feed the emotional weight of the story being told.
Phil Carney’s short stories were adapted and separated into two acts , each comprising of 30-40 minute set. The performance was twinned with an exhibition in the gallery space for the artwork created by the Bullet Proof Press collective and showcase some of scripts/dialogue from the performances.
Performance & Exhibition Opening took place at Islington Mill, James St, Salford, M3 5HW on Saturday 14th January, 7pm.
ABOUT THE COLLABORATORS
David McLean is a musician based in Manchester, UK. A key figure in the UK improvised music and DIY scene, he has toured and performed throughout Europe and collaborated with artists as diverse as Konstrukt, Gnod, and Charles Hayward. As well as his prolific activities as a musician, McLean also runs the experimental record label Tombed Visions, which has released over 30 albums by artists such as Ex-Easter Island Head, Graham Dunning and Weasel Walter.
Phil Carney is a collage artist and pulp fiction writer based in Bletchley, UK. He is the also owner and founder of Bullet Proof Press, a publication promoting artists and writers exploring the legacy and tradition of Film Noir cinema, Pulp Fiction and Hard-Boiled Crime writing. He has had his work exhibited in Italy, Canada, France and the UK.
Images Credit: Jamie Robinson