Robin Richards of Dutch Uncles recently announced The Earth Asleep & Birdsong, the double soundtrack LP due for release this Friday via PRAH Recordings.
This afternoon, Richards shares his latest piece, We Take the Vow, taken from Birdsong: Stories from Pripyat; the Clara Casian documentary about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.
We Take the Vow was composed for a section of the film that takes a retrospective look at the construction of the then new nuclear city of Pripyat in 1970.
Talking of the piece, Richards comments:
“I used the acoustic instruments to represent the natural land and the people, and the synthesised instruments to represent the invisible radioactive threat. I wanted the piece as a whole to depict the emotive testimonies of the liquidators (who we interviewed during our trip to Ukraine in 2016). These individuals were tasked with cleaning the exclusion zone following the Chernobyl disaster, but also had proud memories of the city’s beginnings.”
Birdsong: Stories from Pripyat weaved personal and scientific narratives filmed within the Chernobyl exclusion zone.
It is paired with The Earth Asleep, Casian and Richards‘ other film and music pairing, inspired by the earthquake 18 miles from the Oshika Peninsula in Japan on Friday March 11, 2011, which triggered a tsunami that killed over ten thousand people.
Visual artist Casian and composer Richards travelled to the village of Otsuchi in remote North East Japan to observe the experiences of local residents seeking to rebuild their lives and tend to the memories of those they have lost.
Special screenings of The Earth Asleep with a live score from Richards and accompanying musicians are set to take place at Manchester’s HOME on Friday, September 10, and London’s Coronet Theatre on Friday, November 12.