Sunday saw the recording of the musical score for The Last Bookshop.
Our composer, Owen Hewson, has been busy writing it for months, following each step of the production along the way. And I must say he’s done a tremendous job. The soundtrack is just so full and intricate, I can’t wait for people to hear it.
We assembled in the depths of rural Kent, where Barney very kindly allowed us to make use of his shed. It is a veritable TARDIS of a structure, concealing within it not rakes and lawnmowers, but a recording studio.
A more quirky and characterful space we couldn’t have wished for. I would take its rustic eccentricity over a swish London-based audio bunker any day. If the music for The Last Bookshop was to be recorded anywhere, I’m glad it was here.
A hot-off-the-press cut of the film was projected onto the wall for the musicians to accompany. And, as I sat there in the studio manning the projector, I got to watch the visuals alongside the live music itself for the very first time. The energy of the live performance really started to complete the edit, as Dan and Barney sat on the other side of sound proof glass feeding it into a computer, and trying to keep the digital gremlins at bay.
In between takes, we could step out of the shed into the sunny fresh air and some of Kent’s finest scenery. As I sat on a bench, I had the rare pleasure of seeing a large mole burrowing up between my feet and shuffling away through the grass like something from a children’s story. How oddly appropriate, on a day in which we were busy conjuring up the storybookish atmosphere of this film.
And then it was back into the shed to get behind the microphones, fuelled by cakes, beer and fun size Mars bars. Having the film projection as a reference not only meant the musicians could get the timings spot on, but it also allowed for a little improvisation. And of course, we could all see that it fitted wonderfully.
So a huge thanks then to Barney for all his help and expertise, and to Owen for all his hard work in recent months. Thanks also to Aidan on accordion, Rosie on violin, and Thom on trombone. Splendid company, and a welcome addition to the production. I feel lucky to have them providing the soundtrack, and I hope you all enjoy the noises they make.
We ended the day with a pint of Kentish ale, safe in the knowledge that an excellent session of recording was in the can. Days rarely come more satisfying.