Heavy, reverberating drones and bleak orchestral passages form the soundtrack to the independent, silent film The Roman. Æmaeth is the project of Owen Pegg (A-Sun Amissa / Hundred Year Old Man) and The Roman is his latest piece of film scoring. Pegg has also recently composed scores for The Raindance 10 minute short 2014 winner Man Can and Raindance 2015 'Dark Wave' entry To Catch A Butterfly."
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The Roman's 60 minute journey is dissected into 10 pieces and the stark atmosphere remains throughout, with fleeting moments of hope and light emerging from time to time. It's an altogether immersive experience, and one that works equally with or without the accompanying film and imagery. The bone-chilling soundscapes move almost in slow-motion, the claustrophobic tones are bordering on suffocating at times, but there is always sweet relief close at hand; a break in clouds and a crack of light for company.
The record started life as a series of improvised drones and motifs played on guitar and piano to rough cuts of scenes during the film's post production. At this point the production was unravelling the story and, as edits were made and initial cuts started to filter through, the rough improvisations began to find their place within the context of the film. This process allowed for the gradual addition of further instrumentation and players as a ‘building-block’ process, where the mood and requirements for each scene dictated the direction of every movement. This allowed each piece to develop independently while simultaneously maintaining and even revisiting sounds over and over, creating themes for characters and a memory of the path already travelled. This idea is typified by the recurring saw-like bowed guitar which repeatedly breaks through, reminding us of what follows the two companions – death.
Upon completion of the film, and its premiere on May 10th 2014, work began to piece the score together into a cohesive album in its own right. Further studio time was logged with long standing friend and collaborator Richard Knox (A-Sun Amissa / Shield Patterns / The Rustle of the Stars / Glissando) to hone and polish the individual musical ‘scenes’ into a flowing album that seamlessly moves between the delicate structured melodies and dense uneasy drones.
This record forms the first release in Gizeh Records' new 'Dark Peak' series, a collection of limited CD editions, housed in special hand-crafted packaging, designed and assembled at Gizeh HQ.
released February 12, 2016
~ Written, recorded and mixed by Owen Pegg at City #1, Leeds, UK.
~ Additional tracking and mixing at Cloud Blunt Moon, Glossop, UK.
~ Produced by Owen Pegg & Richard Knox
~ Mastered by Lawrence English at 158
All guitars, percussion, programming and keys by Owen Pegg
~ Kieran O'Malley - Violins
~ Natasha Williams - Voice
~ Claire Brentnall (Shield Patterns) - Clarinet
~ Richard Knox - Field recording manipulation
~ Cover photography by Dyzigi
~ CD artwork, design and packaging by Richard Knox and Claire Brentnall