DAVID LANG (b.1957): The Village Detective - A Song Cycle.
Catalogue Number: 03W067
Description: This is another in the series of highly effective collaborations between film maker Bill Morrison and members of the Bang on a Can collective. Morrison makes haunting, enigmatic films by re-editing decayed old reels of film, ravaged by time, water, and poor storage conditions, turning them into semi-abstract narratives that take on shades and levels of meaning not present in their original content. He has worked with Michael Gordon on an ocean-themed narrative with surging, aquatic music (09U064), and previously with Lang on The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (06Q086), among numerous other projects, their various textures of atmospheric post-minimal loops being an ideal complement to the flickering, faded, half-hidden, fluidly metamorphosed images of the films. The Village Detective is a prime example of a Morrison-Lang project. A print of the 1969 Soviet comedy crime drama whose McGuffin was a stolen accordion, was hauled up in a deep-sea fishing net from the depths of the Atlantic, where it had languished for fifty years. Morrison constructed a film from the damaged reels and extracts from other works by the film's star, whose career had spanned pre-revolutionary and Soviet Russia, which serves as a kind of abstract documentary of twentieth century Russia. The melancholy oscillating, looping intervals and chords of Lang's score, for solo accordion, perfectly represent " ... a single set of lungs diving into the ocean to retrieve this story [... of ...] the beautiful, tragic, and inexorable drift of time." Although described as "A Song Cycle", the voice only appears in the final track, a bleakly lonely reprise of the second number of the score. No texts. Frode Andersen (accordion), Shara Nova (voice).