Jagged Honeycomb

Jagged Honeycomb

Drama Feature

  • Film /
  • Drama

In 1908 Maurice Maeterlinck’s allegorical masterpiece 'The Blue Bird' premiered in Stanislavski’s Moscow Art Theatre. 114 years later and on the very eve of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a theatrical troupe stage the play in Kyiv. But all is not what it seems. A deadly game is afoot. A murderous puzzle unfolds.

Jim and I composed the experimental score for this dark and mindbending feature film.

We decided to push back against the drones and pulses that could easily score a film of this type, and lean in to the uniquely peculiar feel and unconventionality, with a particular focus on sounds of the theatre. This led us to focus on wood sounds - Woodwind, low strings and timpani. We recorded a quintet of cor anglais, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon and contrabassoon, along with cello and double bass (focusing on woody percussive col legno and pizzicato sounds), with irregular spiky passages of rhythmical phasing. The sampled timpani punctuation was beefed up with bass hits from an 808 drum machine along with live bended rototoms.

Where we used drones, these were built upon low woodwind swells, encouraging the players to perform extended techniques with multiphonics and overtones, as well as elsewhere using pops, squeaks and key clicks to build the score.