As part of Film 4’s Summer Screen 2017, taking place in the glorious grounds of Somerset House, Everything Flows: How Movies Inspire Music was a fascinating talk on the influence of films and music. Soundtracks might be evocative and expansive, gritty and bold, or romantic and meandering. Regardless, sound matters. In a panel consisting of Charlotte Hatherley, Barry Adams, Elizabeth Sankey and Jeremy Warmsley of Summer Camp, and Geremy Jasper, whose blazing, brilliant debut feature Patti Cake$ is this year’s finale they asked ‘how are musicians inspired or influenced by movies?’
Charlotte Hatherley spoke about how the alien dystopian worlds of the films that she has been working on have influenced her own musical output. So much so that she embodies the feel, and will be dressing as an alien on stage for her forthcoming gigs. Soundtracks for her are the music she enjoys, offering an immersive way to switch off and enjoy the soundscape.
‘Music is my first love.’ said director Barry Adams. He tells stories through music, with the visuals almost an afterthought. It’s not just music, but sound that creates the evocative landscapes and action of his thriller and action movies.
Summer Camp’s love of teen movies, came together in threads at the start of their career, with their first albums saturated with cinematic references in an almost band. manifesto. Elizabeth and Jeremy described their songs as ‘characters in our own little weird teen movies’ on albums that sounded like ‘chewed up VHS tapes.’ Both are currently working on film soundtracks, and expressed how inspiring movies continue to be, with there being a creative prompt to respond to an idea and visuals.
Geremy Jasper is another who loves music, and he finds that music and film are part of the feedback loop of life and art. In film it’s another language, and he uses music as a source of information to convey how characters would feel and viewers should feel. But that’s not always a conscious process. Stimulus goes in and is reimagined and conveyed in a cinematic sense.
It was interesting to hear how the musicians used film, and the directors were more interested in music, proving how creativity and art can not be confined to specific boxes.