At 372 miles above earth, there is nothing to carry sound.
No air pressure.
Life in space is impossible.
ReScore is an event in its third year of running in St Andrews, and has clearly been a crowd favourite. The audiovisual event took the acclaimed film, Gravity – which the team acquired without sound – and combined this with an interestingly composed score, performed live. The result was a creative and all around cinematic experience of a film which highlighted some poignant metaphors of life in the face of adversities.
Without focusing solely on the film – in terms of visual experience, it was a solemn reminder of where we come from, where human connection is and how heavily we rely on such connections. I’ve recently done a bit of study around cosmology and this kind of threw the whole thing into perspective.
If I’m completely honest, at times this event made me uncomfortably anxious. Of course this is not to say I didn’t enjoy it. I had not actually watched the film before attending but I did watch the trailer. The intensity of ReScore, in comparison to my initial response to the trailer, were at completely opposite ends of my emotional spectrum. At the event I found myself completely immersed in the film. The live score seemed to open up the film to a new sensory experience, in a way that affected my sense perception on an emotional level, rather than what is typical in simply acknowledging the visuals in accordance with sound.
Within the quiet darkness of the Barron theatre, the audience was immersed in the film as a whole, and the events that prevailed before our eyes – scenes that precariously tittered between life and death – were adequately climaxed amongst the live ensemble. The sound was extremely loud, and the depth and quality of the audio really emphasised the cinematic experience as well as the presence of the events on the screen.
The score was varied in effects and created an expansive and atmospheric audiovisual sphere in which the film seemed to exist within the theatre. While the music itself was not incredibly varied, the whole thing was coherent and tied together, and this was important in the also coherent expanse of space that was constant throughout the whole film. The score was mainly composed around a common harmony, and maintained a somewhat comforting presence, stability and continuity amidst the chaos throughout the film. In amongst the film dialogue and the explosive effects, the acoustics of the keyboard and guitar as well as the steady beat of the percussion really brought the scene back to reality from moments of destruction and fear. The physicality of live music seemed to release the accumulated tension in the room and was somehow a comfort in the uncomfortably distant atmosphere we were experiencing. The score was also scattered with moments of complete silence which seemed to intensify the focus on both the visual and on your own existence in the room.
It was undoubtedly the combination of audio and visual in this event that contributed to my experience. The choice of film provided an excellent medium in which the musicians were able to construct another dimension of sensory experience to an already incredibly moving visual production. In accordance with such stunning visuals, the event presented an uncannily close and intimate encounter with space and the fragility of human life beyond our planet.