Improvisation – For Film

This semester, in the Step Across the Border module, we have been exploring different areas of improvisation.

I wasn’t too sure about improvising and was quite hesitant at first with it. I didn’t realize how many areas of improvisation there were and that it is sometimes used in soundtracks. This is an example of Improvised soundtracks.

I really like how even improvised noises and sounds can reflect the creepy and weirdness of the character and that film music isn’t all about writing scores. Making music this way can create the same effect/emotion. Using improvisation works just the same as a scored  soundtrack as they both are aiming to do the same thing, but I think that the use of improvisation within film music is an interesting area to explore.

We then looked at improvising with a piece of footage/film ourselves. It didn’t have a sound track to it only the original recorded sounds (no dialogue as it is a journey on a car). I actually really enjoyed this type of improvising. As I would like to work with writing music for film, this really appealed to me.

The film we improvised to was shot by Claude Lelouch, driving a 10km route around Paris at 5am at speed. Below is a link to a French website with the video on, it also has to route that they took on a map and an interview with Lelouch.

We had a piano, guitar, bass and drums. The first group, I think, worked much better than the improvisation my group did. Theirs was quite pulsy, going with the movement and speed of the car but we were given the rule of not give it too much of a pulse. This was much harder as we found it hard to improvise off each other especially with this kind of footage. We found that we would have a pulse but then remembered the rule so tried to stay away from it. Some areas worked, some didn’t but I think that this footage worked much better with first group as you got that sense of speed and danger from it.


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