This week, the french music band AIR released a new album - a soundtrack to accompany the recently reconstructed hand coloured version of the 1902 film 'Le voyage dans la lune'. The hand coloured version was found in a decomposing state in the early 90's, and it's taken some time to fully restore it - frame by frame.
I think this must have been a terrific project for AIR to work on. As creative people, having a defined goal in mind when they set out to create the new sound track - something new to fit something old, must have been a really interesting experience for them. I understand that they preferred to do the entire recording live, so that the music had a more fluid feel to it.
I'm of the opinion that writers block is what comes from setting the bar too high for your own abilities, but it can also be a symptom of not having anything in mind which is inspiring to work on. I've not seen an album from AIR for a few years now, and I might be talking out of turn here to suggest that they've been taking a break, wondering where to go next with their creative force. I think making a new soundtrack for 'Le Voyage Dans La Lune' has probably been an extremely cathartic experience for them, and a break from working on the usual album/tour/album/tour routine.
If you don't know about AIR, and like to hear something quite atmospheric and mellow, then the last video here is a clip of one of their first hit-albums. It's got quite a retro feel to it - as if it might belong to the 70's.
I like the idea of mixing the past with the present. It can bring some very interesting results. I think that's why I love to shoot film, and use old film cameras such as my Hasselblads, Mamiya 7 and Contax 645. From the past we get things that work, that are classic, and tried and tested. We know they will stand the test of time. While from the present we get what we're thinking and feeling now.
I don't like fads, because they become dated too quickly, and so, if I were to work on some material, I would use methods that I know are tried and tested, classic even, and by simply using them, they still speak very much of 'me', only I'd like to think they will also have a classic feel to whatever it is that i'm creating.