The Cinematic Orchestra Man With a Movie Camera

In late 1999, J Swinscoe and his Cinematic Orchestra were asked to score the soundtrack for Russian filmmaker Dziga Vertov’s 1929 silent film Man With a Movie Camera. This was initially supposed to be a one-off live performance for the band to help celebrate the opening festivities for the Porto European City of Culture. The response was so overwhelming that they were asked by several more festivals to repeat the stunning visual and audio combination. Thankfully it’s arrived as a recording for all to enjoy. The Cinematic Orchestra have captured the raw, live essence on this release and you’ll notice that many of the tracks on this effort were later tweaked and re-released when for their second full-length, Every Day. The tracks on Man With a Movie Camera are far more quiet and soft-sounding than their usual releases, but keep in mind that this is set to run in time with a silent film from the Soviet Union, which is to be released on DVD with the added soundtrack to coincide with this record. The Orchestra’s arrangements are stunning to say the least, as the elegant and powerful strings and horns meet with soft drums and create such a strong noise with so very little effort. Unlike the Herbaliser’s Session One release, in which the band wanted to give their audience the feel of a typical live show, Man With a Movie Camera is not the same as seeing them. This is an experiment in mixing visuals to music, so we’re greeted by the same ups and downs, highs and lows as the silent film and sometimes this means hushing the music to a barely audible level. But even without the movie to reference while listening to this soundtrack, you’re able to acquire a great deal of the magic simply by closing your eyes and letting this orchestra take you to new heights in live orchestration. (Ninja Tune)