Author: David Lawrie

Room 6

In the summer of 2018, The Nevada City Film Festival commissioned a team of creatives to put together a short film. Rick Beaty wrote the screenplay for Room 6, with additional help from Romero Avles, Robert Bryant, Zach Haller, and yours truly. It is now available to view online!

I really appreciated Rick's insistence that I should be involved from the script stage. I was able to suggested changes to the script, in order to allow room for maximum sonic impact. Small changes, like changing the main antagonist's pacifier from a lollipop to a zippo lighter, meant that certain shots could rely more on sound to paint a picture of a character, rather than having to use multiple shots. The sound of a zippo lighter being flicked open and closed is quite universally recognisable, whereas a lollipop being sucked needs a visual reference. By making this change, not only could the opening shot be continuous, but we also establish something of a seedy cliché in the motel owner's personality.

The shoot lasted two nights, and I captured the production sound with my assistant, Hannah McLean-Babe. Each night, after shooting was complete, additional background tones were recorded, in preparation for post production.

Sound design, foley, and score composition/production were completed over a four day period.

In the end, we produced a fun little horror film, and I'm really proud of what we achieved in such a short period!

London After Midnight

It is nice to be writing the first blog post on my newly redesigned website, which fell off the radar for a moment there! I am back into the swing of things, and maintaining the site will be much more streamlined moving foward. The discography/portfolio section is up to date, and additional sections will be added in due course. Keep checking back!

The biggest piece of news I have is that I was asked to work with London After Midnight, in order to revisit their 1991 debut album Selected Scenes From The End Of The World. The original 2” tapes were digitised, and Sean Brennan asked me to mix it from scratch. I am currently nearing the end of the project, and I will be sure to compose a detailed case study when it is done. So far it has been a very challenging (and rewarding) experience, with lots of audio restoration and reshaping, and it is an honour to be working on a significant and influential piece of musical history. So far I have managed to rely almost entirely on the original recordings, with only a few elements being re-recorded in certain areas.

More on that one soon…

London After Midnight

Consistency through change

For the first time in a long time, I feel like I am able to sit down and write about all of the things that have been happening with the music in my life. The last year has been a rollercoaster, and I feel as if I am entering into a new stage of my career as a music producer.

Afer working on Absinthe Films’ /fter Forever, I found myself working with many artists, in many genres of music and film, on many projects.

In the autumn of 2016 CocoRosie came to the studio, to spend some time sifting through some ideas they had, for their composition commision from director Robert Wilson (who had, himself, been commissioned to direct Edda), and we pieced some of them together to turn the elements of an instrumental piece into a fully structured part of the soundtrack. I added some Hammered Dulcimer to the song, as well as some synthetic bass elements. The piece, “Dark Fairy,” found its way into the show. Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s music was also featured in the theatre production.

Around the same time, one member of Nevada County’s finest progressive band, Pinnacles, contacted me about his debut solo album. In January of this year I worked with him to re-record and rearrange some parts, as well as mix the whole album. I don’t want to talk too much about the project, as its release schedule is still in the planning stages, but I am very, very excited about the album.

GoPro showed interest in using music by my other project, Neso Verses, for a film about Mike Basich’s transition from being a professional competitive snowboarder, to a professional lifestyle snowboarder. Tina Basich (the other half of Neso Verses) and I ended up writing something completely new for the project, and you can hear it around 2.56 in the video below:

Around the same time as the GoPro project, Mike Basich asked if he could use some of my music for his short film, documenting the construction of his second tiny home. I love working with Mike, so of course I said yes – and then I ended up doing the overall audio mix for the film. It was such a fun project!

Friend, fellow artist, and long-time collaborator EchoWants Her VoiceBack and I worked trans-atlantically to create two single/video releases – “Laisse Moi” and “Quicksand.” It was an unusual experience, seeing as I normally travel extensively, in order to get international productions done. I am really happy with how both of them came out, and I always enjoy when I get to play piano for a project.

For the first time I am also working with an artist at the artist-development stage. I am really excited to be able to talk more about this project in the future, but for now I can confirm that the project is taking me out of my comfort zone, and that is my favourite place to be!

And finally, on top of all of this, I am in the middle of constructing a brand new studio – the new home for Ishikawa Media.. More on that later.

Absinth Films’ /FTER FOREVER

After returning from a brief trip to England, the first part of September has been incredibly busy. I finished working on Absinthe Films’ new release /fter Forever and it started its European and North American cinema tour on Thursday 8th September. On the same night Of Shark And Man was shown as the main feature on the opening night of the 16th annual Nevada City Film Festival in California. I was at the Of Shark And Man Screening to be part of the Q&A, and it was wonderful to be able to answer so many great questions about sound design and music composition.

Thank you so much to everyone who came to the screening in Nevada City. I hope you enjoyed it. For the people who went to see /fter Forever, I hope you loved every minute. When the film tours through Northern California (dates TBC) I will be sure to be there.

Until next time…