Martin Parker

Just one kiss

Just One Kiss – The Fall of Ned Kelly: about the sound

Live performance, Filmhouse, Edinburgh 7th November 2009

‘One can say that every narrative feature film has been essentially the same since 1906 and the self-standardizing storyline has become a language in itself which we expect to read in any sequence of moving images. In Just One Kiss – The Fall Of Ned Kelly I have attempted to invoke our interpretive faculties to construct this meta story out of unrelated found footage images.’
Sami van Ingen

In response to Sami’s film and the ideas behind it, we took as source material a musical work that also dates from 1906: Charles Ives’ “Central Park in the Dark”.  This 8-minute piece has been stretched out to match the duration of the film and we’re using it to tether Sami’s storytelling to the other sounds that we’ve gathered to play over and around the images.

We didn’t just choose “Central Park in the Dark” because it was written in the same year as “The Fall of Ned Kelly”. The piece is a particularly bold experiment in musical form, constructed as it is from several sound worlds (pieces) that overlap and pass over one another as the music goes on. It makes a plausible case for resisting the conventional musical shapes that became so well established and familiar in the 18th and 19th centuries.  As Sami’s work attempts to test its own idea, that we can follow the same story through any collection of images, Ives’ piece tests our ability to follow musical layers when they are superimposed.

In the spirit of this film, which is composed of references from across the history of moving image, our soundtrack is made of borrowed and stolen sounds, mostly sourced from YouTube.   Several quotes are culturally iconic and serve to annotate the images in a different way to the inter-titles.  It is a confusing mush, carefully rehearsed and improvised on the spot.

Thanks to Kim Knowles for inviting us to be involved in this project and the Filmhouse staff for letting us loose on their sound system.
Martin Parker
Owen Green