[sic] Magazine

The Freemartin Calf

Manchester-based label Gizeh Records are offering fans the opportunity to host a screening of Jayne Amara Ross’ new film ‘The Freemartin Calf’.

On September 23rd Gizeh will release ‘The Freemartin Calf’ soundtrack and film package as a deluxe LP + DVD package and are offering you the chance to screen the film in a venue of your choice, be it in your own home or perhaps working with a venue, cafe or cinema of your choice.

Some words from Gizeh HQ:
“We are looking to show the film across the world with your help and enthusiasm and we are completely open to any suggestions and ideas people may have.
The stipulations are that screenings must take place in September or October 2013 and must be free of charge. After that feel free to be as creative as you want with the setting you choose and the people you invite. You will have full control of who attends and how you advertise/promote the screening.”
Watch the trailer for the film here and listen to an extract from the soundtrack here.

More from the Press Release:

The Freemartin Calf – a very special limited edition release, from the founding members of FareWell Poetry.
The Freemartin Calf is a labour-of-love film and soundtrack, created in the home workshops of filmmaker Jayne Amara Ross and composer Frédéric D. Oberland, with the significant contribution of cellist Gaspar Claus.
Written in 2008 as a deliberation on the creative process, the film relates a day in the life of a young girl and her mother as they brave two very separate realities governed by the desire to both reject, and conform to, the societal roles imposed upon them.
Shot on super 8 between 2009 and 2010 and scored during the spring and summer months of 2010, The Freemartin Calf is imbued with a delicate fragility synonymous with the inner experience of its protagonists.
This limited release includes both soundtrack (180g LP) and film (DVD) as well as the original script of the film and a bonus MP3 download of a live performance in 2011 at Saint Mérry Church in Paris.

A few words…
…on the film:

‘The realistic narrative of ‘The Freemartin Calf’ never ceases to enrichen its symbolic basis with dreamlike imagery. Here we are closer to a naturalism that its transcended, magnified. From the ambitious mis-en-scène to the intricate structure of the film and the power of the facture, ‘The Freemartin Calf’ is a film of great maturity – and of extraordinary beauty.’ Gabriela Monelle (Culturopoing, June 2011)
‘Visual symphonies play soundtrack to the poetic voice-over, expanding into a series of images of rare filmic beauty (…). We are shaken by the truth that resides in this innovative expression of the female experience.’

Raphaël Bassan (Short Film Magazine Bref, January 2013)

…on the soundtrack:

‘Divorced from its original context, a film soundtrack can all too easily serve up a problematic listening experience. Once separated from its visual parent, a score runs the risk of losing its purpose and narrative guidance – even the finest examples of the artform are shadowed by the implicit reminder of the absent component.
Perhaps then, the first remarkable thing about ‘The Freemartin Calf’ soundtrack is that from a listener’s perspective nothing is missing. Rendered with a painterly detail, the piece is an intensive ebb and flow of musical and verbal imagery that harnesses concrete sound, roving multi-instrumentalism and the bewitching performance poetry of Jayne Amara Ross (the filmmaker behind The Freemartin Calf). Ross’ vocal and carefully constructed dramatic discourse reside at the crux of the piece, ruminating on notions of the creative act made corporeal as she explores the relationship and bond between mother and child. The spoken text resounds with Plath-like flourishes of language, all the while inflected with an artful, purposeful delivery.
These words are cradled within an astoundingly fluid and complex musical sequence, crafted by sound designer Maxime Champesme, cellist Gaspar Claus and consummate composer / multi-instrumentalist Frédéric D. Oberland, the latter of whom calls upon a dizzying repertoire of tools, devices and music-making disciplines to provide a soundscape full of texture and nuance.
The Freemartin Calf’ assumes an episodic quality that thrives on a deft interchange between the avant-garde and sheer harmonic beauty. Oberland and Claus are equally at home conjuring moments of icily cinematic abstraction as they are establishing stirring melodic themes: by turns the soundtrack brings to mind the immersive sound collages of musique concrète pioneer Luc Ferrari and the neo-classical know-how of contemporary composers such as Max Richter or Johann Johannsson. However, going beyond such aesthetic comparisons, in terms of its spirit and completeness as a project, it might not be too outlandish to draw parallels between this work and the ECM release of Jean-Luc Goddard’s Nouvelle Vague soundtrack – both eschew OST conventions in favour of a comprehensive auditory survey of the film source, encompassing music, spoken content and location-based sound. The outcome is an acousmatic concoction able to stand alone by virtue of its own merits, offering a no-less powerful sensorial experience than that prompted by the film itself.’ David Roocroft

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