Peter Broderick: Old Time / Solace In Gala
Posted In: Erased Tapes, Jennifer Anderson, Lionel Mint, Old Time / Solace In Gala, Peter Broderick, Peter Broderick - Old Time / Solace In Gala, Vernon Lott
Comments: 3 Responses
Let’s start by stating a bold, undeniable truth, shall we? Let’s get it out of the way up front and we can move past it and get on with our lives – and more immediately, this review. Peter Broderick has a talent that is almost offensive to mere mortals like you or me. Here we have a man that can pick up practically any instrument he likes and produce something that sounds as if Apollo himself had just ejaculated pure molten gold.
Having recently upped sticks from Denmark as his visa came to a close, Broderick has moved to Berlin, something of a musical home for him. Now residing above a piano shop, the staff of which – I’m reliably informed – have given him keys so that he can play any time the shop is closed. He has spent a not inconsiderable amount of his home-time scoring the soundtrack to a documentary by filmmakers Jennifer Anderson and Vernon Lott. The film, Confluence, tells the story of a number of young girls who were murdered or who disappeared in the Idaho area in the early 1980s and the soundtrack is said to move the listener through “waves of stark emotions”. If the album, released on Erased Tapes next week, is anything like the double A-side single that precedes it then we are in for quite an emotional journey.
Old Time / Solace In Gala begins with the exit music to the film. As the ‘credits’ song, it seems to have been a conscious decision to make Old Time dissimilar to the score that comes before and in the composer’s own words it provides a “breath of fresh air after a story that can only leave you wondering”. The song itself is led by a beautifully understated acoustic guitar that provides a warm bed of sound for Broderick’s vocal. The female harmony that joins him throughout is reminiscent of the accompaniment to Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s Ain’t You Wealthy, Ain’t You Wise? or looking further back to Emmylou Harris’ harmonies on Gram Parsons’ Grievous Angel album. It’s a tender and, ultimately, sad piece that leaves a lingering feeling of contemplative reflection.
Now, not a label ever to do things by halves, Erased Tapes (and one would assume, Broderick himself) have decided to include an exclusive digital 14-track bonus album with the single. The album, Music for Grace and Mercy, is a beautifully pretty recording of Broderick’s soundtrack for a film described by the label as ‘Haitians helping Haitians’.
It is this latter film then that give us Solace In Gala and this seems much more in keeping with what you might expect from Broderick’s film music output. It begins with a solitary, almost expectant picked guitar and as it is joined by bass guitar and strings it’s immediately clear that this piece is Broderick at his emotively eloquent and expressive best. There is little dynamic change in the piece but still it presents an obvious sense of sorrowful, moving drama.
As a brief, two-track introduction to Broderick’s soundtrack work, and by extension the films, Old Time / Solace In Gala is an alluring, intriguing and moving single.
- Lionel Mint for Fluid Radio