Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
rob + = email

2023 November 06 • Monday

Trunk Records continues to be one of the absolute best independent labels out there and Jonny Trunk's weekly emails are always a pleasure to read. For the 803rd Soundtrack of the Week we present the Trunk Records LP release of Ron Geesin music for three films: Sunday Bloody Sunday, Viv and Shapes in a Wilderness.

The A side contains the Sunday Bloody Sunday music, beginning with "Sky High Balloons", a baroque-leaning piece with unusual timbres that make it sound like an acoustic version of a Raymond Scott electronic composition.

A bit of minimalist noise drone comes next for "Intriguing Cables", followed by solo classical guitar playing the lyrical "Bittersweet Reflections".

"Affections for String Quartet" is indeed a modern classical-sounding string quartet piece, after which there's a beautiful chamber pop number, "Chemical Dreams", in slow waltz time and with vocals by Bridget St. John.

Things take a turn for the ominous and unsettling with "Blitzful Memories", in which low piano notes and persistent fast-bowed strings create an atmosphere of tension.

The energy level goes up but gets sunnier for "Piccadilly Bustle", in which lots of strumming, plucking and staccato keyboard notes sweeps the listener forward quickly, certainly living up to the "bustle" indicated in the title.

Bridget St. John returns, this time as a second guitarist, for the beautiful acoustic guitar duet "Motoring Sparkle".

Then it wraps up with a reprise of "Wayward Balloons".

The first four tracks of the B side are cues from Viv.

The first cue is "War of the Willow", an unusual-sounding electro pop instrumental with the melody played on what sounds like synth steel drum while piano and percussion and an electronic whistle create a background.

"Slo-Mo Bowl" is another synth, piano and percussion piece, this one a little slinky and groovy and bringing in vibraphone as well.

After that comes "Through Loud Bamboo", with stabbing bass notes played on synth with percussion clouding around it and higher-pitched long electric tones floating above.

The music from Viv concludes with "Antiguan Stroll", an off-kilter lullaby-ish song featuring guitar and vibes, and then it's on to the six cues from Shapes in a Wilderness, which are presented here as a mini-suite.

The music features voices, organ and other weird sounds, perhaps some music concrète. It would be appropriate for a horror movie or avantgarde work, for sure.