Glancing away from the extensive shopping list of musicians and dancefloor DJs amassed for the festival, Dekmantel is also hosting some exciting events which are designed more to provoke thought rather than increase the heart rate and induce sweating.
The EYE Filmmuseuem looks to be the venue proposed as the nexus for many of these events; the Dekmantel Festival Conference will see discussions with Steve Reich, Nik Void, Lorenzo Senni and Call Super, followed later by screenings of Suzanne Ciani – A Life In Waves, and 2001: A Space Odyssey (excitingly, an original 70mm cut of the latter will be projected).
But perhaps the cinematic digression most loaded with potential comes in the form of Jonny Nash live-scoring the iconic Sky Over Holland. Recorded by mounting a 70mm panoramic camera on various transports (but particularly breathtaking are the twisting and plummeting aerial shots captured from a fighter jet), the film soars through Dutch airspace, along canals and rivers, across frozen lakes; diving at breakneck speed into clouds and skimming over fields before cutting suddenly to examine paintings by Dutch artists, or indeed scenes of contemporary Dutch life. Ahead of Dekmantel, we picked his brain to learn a bit more about the project.
Where did the idea for the project come from? What drew you to Sky Over Holland? Was it your idea or something that Re:vive proposed?
I was approached by Re:vive about writing an performing a score for Sky Over Holland. They sent me a copy of the film and I saw real potential to do something interesting, so I agreed to the project!
What can we expect from the performance? Can you tell us anything about the tech or performers you’ll be utilising?
The performance is about 50 percent live and 50 percent pre-recorded. The film has a lot of cuts, and moves with quite a fast pace, so this method worked the best. I perform with a keyboard and a guitar, and my midi controller which is used for triggering various parts.
Is scoring films something you’ve done before? Will you be approaching this performance in a different way to say, performing solo or with Suzanne Kraft/Gaussian Curve?
This is the first time I have done a score for a film and it was a really fun experience. It’s something that I have wanted to do for a while so I was really happy to get the opportunity. The performance borrows a lot of techniques that I have developed for my solo live shows, mixing guitar playing and looping with various synths, running clips from Ableton. I’ve also been working a lot more with improvised live performances when I play with Suzanne Kraft and certain elements of this improvisational style will make their way into the performance.
How do you find Dekmantel? Will you be sticking around for the festival? Any highlights we should be aware of?
I have never actually been to the main Dekmantel festival and I’m unfortunately away when the festival proper kicks of on Friday. Lots of good stuff on the Thursday that I will hopefully see though, including GAS.
Current/upcoming projects, releases, events?
Well, the reason I’m not around is because I’m doing a small tour with Suzanne Kraft and Motion Graphics. We play Antwerp this Saturday, London on Sunday the back for a show in Amsterdam on the 9th. Release wise, I just released and album with Suzanne Kraft called Passive Aggressive on my label, Melody As Truth, and it’s available both digitally and on vinyl at melodyastruth.bandcamp.com.
Jonny Nash live-scores Sky Over Holland at Dekmantel for Sound and Vision’s RE:VIVE initiative.