Album Blow (2016) is mostly soundtracks to Ülo Pikkov’s movie “Body Memory”, also other compositions “New Moon Morning”, “Tundra”, “Blow” and “Squeak”. Performers: Mirjam Tally (electronics), Anna Svensdotter (flutes), Jaak Lutsoja (accordion), Kersti Ala-Murr (vocals), Tõnu Jõesaar (cello). Also environmental recordings of a boat in the harbor, storm winds, a bottle, Tuva throat singing.
“A Hundred Years of Solitude” is a moving illustration of Mirjam Tally’s musical piece “Squeak”. Like the music, which was created from recordings made in nature over a period of several years, the video image was created by capturing various objects over a period of several years. “A Hundred Years of Solitude” presents the movement of time and timeless questions. (Ülo Pikkov).
The composition “Squeak” (2008) was made in my studio in Visby, using mainly recordings made over several years on the beaches of Gotland. Gale-force winds, the rolling of a bottle on the ground, the cracking of a ship’s hull, which at times sounds surprisingly melodic. (Mirjam Tally).
Synopsis of Ülo Pikkov’s film “Body Memory”:
The body remembers more than we can imagine, the body also remembers the sorrow and pain of its predecessors. And so, hidden in every body, are all the stories of the world. Our bodies carry the stories of our parents and grandparents, of their predecessors and predecessors before them. But how deep can you go into your body’s memories?
The electro-acoustic composition “Blow” (2005) is created in Studio Alpha at Visby International Centre for Composers. In this piece I picked out some more characteristic sounds from my everyday environment: bottle blowing, heavy rain-drops on my window, pizzicato of wine-glasses… and developed these sound sources further to imaginary “blowing-landscape” where a wind never becomes silent. So, the key question is – to listen to the world and notice these “noises” of everyday life. I often follow this principe when I work with electronics. And every sound could be treated as music. I think, if you are a composer, it´s important to listen to the world what surrounds us and really experience everything with open mind and ears.
More general methods:
Montage of musical material is made in Pro Tools, using a plug-in is used that adds a distortion effect.
Sound sources in Blow: the basic material is bottle-blowing. The musical material is recorded at my home with a minidisc-player and later developed further in Studio Alpha (with Pro Tools).
The heavy rain-drops on my window.
So-called pizzicato with wineglasses: it means various collection of sounds: putting wine-glasses to a floor, spilling a water from one glass into another, clang to each-other.
Ülo Pikkov’s “Blow” (2007) is an experimental animation, which visual style and aesthetics follows the film’s music. This is a visualization of Mirjam Tally’s electro-acoustical composition “Blow”. The visual material is filmed with a 8mm film-camera. The film reflects how the rhythms of people and environment affect each other. As a butterfly´s wing stroke can cause a storm, might a powerful storm cause a butterfly’s wing stroke.
Video: shot with an 8mm camera, so it looks a bit “old-fashioned”. The main motif is a specific place in Tallinn, namely the construction work on the Coca Cola Plaza in Kobarkino, where I’ve been shooting every day (and every time I’ve taken a picture in exactly the same place). There are also shots of the people at the bus stops nearby, the greenhouses with their inhabitants and the butterfly.
It’s a strange contrast when you compare the film and the soundtrack – while the music flows with ultra-slow paced, the montage in the film is ultra-nervous, the shots change quickly, but there are also several humorous moments where there are no humorous lines in the music. That’s what’s so fascinating about film collaborations: one complements the other, and both bring their (often quite different) vision to the whole.