I read a story about Johnny Cash once, as told by Bono. Bono and Adam Clayton were sharing a meal at the Cash house, and Johnny made a beautiful grace which he ended by saying “sure do miss the drugs though.” And I kind of know what he means. These days it’s family, and work and not a lot else. But a listen to The Orb’s ‘Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld’ puts a big smile on my face. And listening to that reminded me of another late night favourite, the third KLF album, Chill Out. I loved how voices rose up and down in the mix, and how pieces of music stayed just long enough to set me wondering where I knew them from, but not long enough to provide definitive answers.
I’ve tried to go for a similar feel with the soundtrack to my latest short film. Taking confusion as a base theme, and imagining the work as best seen/heard late at night, I’ve been listening to interviews and songs which deal with mysteries, enigmas and riddles, with the odd bit of feedback thrown in, as nothing says war and pain like feedback. And no one does feedback better than Neil Young. So I’ve woven all of these fragments of conversation and sound, and used them to soundtrack images which suggest a near future where war has been declared, and Obama has become President in perpetuity, an idea taken from Alan Moore’s Watchmen, where Richard Nixon used the fictional success of The Vietnam War to extend his presidency. The images are created by photographing my computer screen at slow exposure speeds, which allows me to lose the faces of the people pictured who became less recognisable, but perhaps more true to themselves.