The masterful I Am Kloot will release the soundtrack to the TV Drama ‘From There To Here’. Staring Philip Glenister (Life on Mars), the plot centres around the tragic and comic misadventures of two families in Manchester at the time of the ‘96 IRA bombing. Kloot’s deft handling of the soundtrack provides both light and shade that recalls some of their greatest work.
Bio (amended from Peter Jobson, bassist of I Am Kloot)
So we were invited to score a drama set in our home town of Manchester and we were delighted as it was something that we had always wanted to do. The name I Am Kloot is inspired by the classic Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland noir drama “Klute”. The 1996 IRA bomb had a big effect on everyone living in the city and in the drama it acts as a trigger that begins to unravel a family. The events of June 15th 1996 were something we witnessed, lived through and worked through and so the story is close to our hearts.
We were initially given three pieces of footage and asked to compose music for each as way of an audition. The first scene lead up to a bomb exploding, the second depicted a romantic meeting between two characters and the third was a montage which the music composed set the tone for the entire series. There are three members of I Am Kloot so we took a scene each and produced very different pieces of music which has inspired us to change the approach to the way we work. Our usual approach would be three of us in a room following each other’s ideas to an agreed conclusion.
Producing each piece separately resulted in three diverse pieces of music. “The bomb” was composed by Andy Hargreaves (Drummer) and is very rhythm orientated based on a discussion around how the Dirty Harry scores of Lalo Schifrin were so evocative and effective and predominately composed of drums. The romantic scene “Joanne and Daniel (part 1)”, was composed by myself Peter Jobson (Bass player / multi-instrumentalist) and was set on a pier by the sea so the sounds of waves lapping sat beneath a major scale country blues acoustic guitar progression with a harmonica melody that implies burgeoning romance but uncertainty. The third piece “From There To Here” was composed by John Bramwell (Singer / multi-instrumentalist). This piece was used as the main theme of the drama reoccurring throughout the series in different guises. It consists of a Minor key acoustic guitar progression with a very evocative melody played on different instruments each time it appears in the drama. Firstly the melody is played on a melodica, then an acoustic guitar and lastly whistled. The theme as well as the melody being played on different instruments has a different tempo and velocity each time it appears so as to suit the mood of the scene.
We got the green light on the project from these three pieces and subsequently were given all three hour long episodes to watch and absorb. We were then provided with specific times and durations of pieces that were required to be composed. Some of the pieces were very short and some up to nine minutes long.
For the first time we found ourselves working as individuals on the same project; emailing each other files of musical ideas. This after fifteen years of recording all together in one room was very refreshing and resulted in a varied piece of work allowing each member of the group to play to their strengths with no time pressures being applied. A hint at what may come in the future from the band as we all enjoyed this way of working. Each member of I Am Kloot has quite different musical tastes and influences. This project allowed for many disparate approaches. It was an ideal remit for us in that we were able to discuss our ideas and take on specific tasks separately; allowing each of us to draw on our personal influences and then score what we imagined. This made for a diverse piece of work and more so we discovered a great deal about ourselves musically that up until now we did not know. Old dog new tricks, Eureka, Satori, call it what you want; for the lads it’s a fuckin result!
Most of the pieces of music were written and recorded spontaneously playing live along to the visuals which gives the pieces energy and is very in keeping with the way we like to compose. Our initial ideas are the best, we were never great revisers. A small amount of arrangement then takes place which nearly always entails removing rather than adding to the piece as space in music is a crucial part of the dynamic, it also gives the instruments that are recorded the sonic space required to provide their full tonal range. In a three piece band space is a welcome unpaid fourth member.
Inspired very much by the work of Bernard Herman, John Cage and the cartoons of Walt Disney we used what is really Foley artist techniques; everyday sound affects mixed in within the music. There are moments of swords pulled across stone, coins dropped and ratchet spanner clicks all of which create a mood you do not hear much of in television scores. In my opinion there is no substitute for these techniques, not only is it a joy to discover, record and place these sounds, the variety of what Shane Macgowan calls “music that’s in the ground” is limitless. These for me are the magic sounds within music. As a listener you are not sure if they are in the score, in the room or in your imagination; Subtle and fleeting to the point of existential. Delicious.