‘The Crash’ was released last week. It’s a bit of a change of pace from the previous tracks. It soundtracks the climatic scene where the train pursing Johnnie is ordered to cross a bridge which is on fire and plummets into the river from a height. We were all excited about scoring for that part. It’s not special effects and it’s not fancy camera angles. It’s an actual steam train crashing into an actual river. It was the most expensive shot of the silent era costing $42,000 dollars (this 1926 remember) and it was done in one take.
We initially pictured something that would build into a big dramatic crescendo and the first mix of The Crash a much bigger version of the final piece. We used looping melodies, sweeping shoegazey guitar swells and a crunchy electronic beat all building up to *that bit* but nice as it was it just didn’t feel right. It would have been very easy to overstate the action in the film but I wanted to focus more on the uneasiness of some tit deciding to exert his power and order his troops into an avoidable accident (which he seemingly doesn’t give a shit about). I felt a bit stuck with it for a while but started to think about ‘Shadows’, a track Sophie wrote for ‘There Is No Elsewhere’. In ‘Shadows’ the gaps in-between the phrases are as much a part of the piece as the music itself, it makes the whole piece really tense but gentle (playing it live puts knots in my stomach, it makes me feel so stressed!) I decided to try stripping it back to just the main the guitar bit placing more emphasis on the gaps which I hope adds some suspense to the whole scene and makes you all feel as nervous as ‘Shadows’ makes me feel.
From then the arrangement of the piece came very naturally and was lead by the sequence in the film. Overall I think its actually quite hopeful and optimistic sounding. It’s the only piece on the whole album that doesn’t have any electronics on it which makes it feel more exposed and vulnerable and each section ends with an increasing repetition of sliding chords which seem solemn and unsure of themselves.The overall sound of the guitar is my usual setup of some gentle delay and cavernous reverb. To add some warmth I used a sweeping drone though-out made by a freeze pedal.
You can listen to ‘The Crash’ now here. You can also buy the full soundtrack on CD and double LP using the link below. Thank you!