While Mark was playing mandolin inSanta Monica, Jonathan (on bass) used the opportunity of Barney McAll( piano) visiting from New York to record further tracks for the film. Two days at Linear Studios in Leichardt. Joining them were Julien Wilson ( saxaphone) and Hamish Stuart(drums)…and Phil Slater( trumpet), otherwise known as Jedi.I looked around at one stage and he was going through a series of moves with intense concentration. Tai Chi? Qi Gong? Tibetan Yoga?…no, just practicing his golf swing
I wrote in a recent post that music for the film on Paulus Berensohn was being done by friends Mark Rivett and Jonathan Zwartz. Mark’s main instrument is jazz guitar. But he also sings. And composes. And plays the five string banjo (a founding member of the Jamberoo Mountain Boys, but more on that another day) and has pulled out the mandolin on which he is no slouch to compose for the film. Jonathan has added bowed bass, and the Appalachian/classical fusion is a beautiful sound.I will find a way of posting some samples of the tracks next week . Another track has him using the banjo but making it sound like a sitar.As an audio engineer (who worked on Abbey Road) at Song Zu, Mark’s recording Studio in Sydney said to me as Mark departed after a session one day..”He’s a talented lad that Mark.”
I have posted before about my friend Francis and her shop “Made in the Southern Highlands”.People from around Robertson bring in surplus vegetables, fruit, preserves etc.. All very local and very fresh. But my favorite of all is Melissa who hasn’t just named her chooks ( that’s chickens to all you folk in the USA), but names hers eggs. So Elkie and Arthea , thank you for my lovely poached eggs on toast with roasted pepper this morning.It is really really hot here today, but a thunderstorm is on the way. I hope.
Editing the Paulus film began before I got back to Australia. Four rugged drives made it into the hands of editor Andrea Lang (thank you FedEx) and the project survived the potentially catastrophic meltdown of the mother drive (no thank you to Lacie thunderbolt drives grrr). Around 90 hrs of footage shot over six weeks.. Andrea inquired as to whether I had ever found the “off “button on the camera, and then valiantly got stuck in by having all the interviews transcribed to begin a paper edit. Key ideas and phrase and links were committed to file cards and that’s them on the wall you can see in the pic. It’s a complex task, telling the story of Paulus’s life and many aspects of his work over an 80 year (almost) period, and this technique allowed us to shuffle on paper before we did in the edit suite. I use the word “we’ in a fairly cavalier fashion here. Though Andrea was ably assisted by her two schnauzers Sir Douglas Dinsdale and Johnny Bangers(with bucket) whose attention never wavered.
My original intention was that the workshop Paulus gave on journal making called”Everything is Art When You’re Dressed for it” would provide both the linking structure for the film and its title. Well that didn’t quite turn out to be the case. The workshop certainly features (and I am preparing a separate edit just on it) but a different, less linear way of telling the story emerged that we are happy with. The title for the film is now “To Spring From the Hand” and comes from an important story in P’s early life .
So we now have a cut of a little over an hour. Color grading has been done and now my very talented dear friends Mark Rivett and Jonathan Zwartz ( looking thoughtful below) are doing the music. A mixture of classical/jazz and Appalachian/classical, with Jonathan on bass and Mark featuring this time on mandolin( pic coming in next blog). Next week we will be in the studio with Barney McAll( piano), Hamish Stuart( drums),Julien Wilson( saxaphone), Phil Slater( trumpet).
Oh the answer to the question posed in the header was supplied by Andrea when I asked her how would we know the edit was done:” When you can’t pay me any more”….. she then added:”Films are never finished, merely abandoned”. Land ahoy!
Happy New Year to all, and may it be one full of joy and good health. It has been months since I wrote here, and much has happened. I will spread my updates over a few posts or you’ll start calling me Leo. It is a few days past new year and I am at Leatherwood, our beautiful rainforest property 2 hrs south of Sydney. It is very warm and there are king parrots, doves, and noisy sulphur crested cockatoos out on the verandah squabbling over the seed.. This a picture of the original house that Bert Flugelman built forty years ago when the only way into here was via an old bullock and dray timber -getting trail.We are hoping that Bert, who is quite frail, will visit here with his family next week.
Most people reading this know or know of my dear friend Paulus Berensohn and that I filmed a documentary about his work and life last year in Nth Carolina. In the next blog I will give an update on its progress…there has been much and it is on track to be finished in the first quarter of 2013.
On Christmas Day, Paulus suffered a mild stroke, but due to quick action by the community of friends in Penland he was in hospital very quickly with the appropriate treatment. He is back home now and and I spoke to him yesterday. He is in very good shape considering all, and with just some slowness of speech which will come good.We are all very grateful and relieved that a 100 percent recovery looks likely. I will write more soon on the film, and other projects! Here’s a pic of Paulus taken a the journal making workshop last September in Penland.