The Music of Falling Man The creation of the musical score of Falling Man represents almost two years of creative work. It is an intensely personal series of pieces, as much as the overall work is personal for both Dane Hurst and myself.
This personal dimension is reflected in the different genres and influences which have made their way into the music - from Japanese minimalism to show tunes, from breakcore to Keith Jarrett, Quincy Jones to Bach. They all represent something important to me, each being steps in my musical journey through life. Maybe the challenge of trying to get such disparate sounds and styles to gel into a cohesive whole in some way in my mind reflects the process of trying to make sense of all the myriad (and often contending) facets of oneself. There are pieces which represent the happiest and some the saddest moments from this time.
The voice of Falling Man you will hear is that of Apricity - a talented young artist from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I have been collaborating with her for a couple of years now, and it is a real privilege to have her beautiful vocals contributing to the piece. She sings various parts throughout Falling Man, including the refrains of ‘A Better Word Than Love’, and of course the two cover songs in the piece.
Those two pieces are ‘All Is Full of Love’ by Björk, and ‘Falls to Climb’ by R.E.M., both very special songs. Björk’s classic really lodged its place in my heart when I saw it performed at Glastonbury. It was quite something to see Björk simultaneously render thousands of people so totally spellbound. She really managed to conjure that often elusive sense of spiritual connection between absolute strangers in this magical moment - you could really feel the truth of the song’s sentiment.
‘Falls to Climb’ is not one of R.E.M.’s better known works. But to me it epitomises Michael Stipe’s lyrical genius, which so inspired Thom Yorke amongst many others. The duets which Dane has choreographed for these work beautifully, I feel.
‘Falling Man’ is not about men or masculinity only. There is a continual interplay of masculine and feminine energy throughout the piece, in the music, choreography, and film sections.
With the Wilton's performances now only a week away...
Last week at the Hammersmith Lyric, Dane Hurst performed the first stages of our work on a new piece called 'Falling Man', for which I composed the music. The performance was part of the Ignition dance festival, a great platform for independent creatives in the dance industry.
Falling Man is about great challenges which Dane and I have faced, and I felt I wanted to put the journey of this subject into a story with music. Dane's performance and choreography was immediately arresting, it made the hairs on my arm stand on end while I was watching. The reviewers seem to like it too:
Now we are going to continue the develop the piece, it represents a very personal watershed for both of us.