Leave Me Sessions
(Behind the Scenes)
Shot under the west coast rays of Petaluma, California, “Leave Me Sessions (Behind The Scenes) Part II” is a short film that takes a rare look at the musical process and the methods of composer and multi-instrumentalist William Ryan Fritch. His sun-lit studio sits out of the way; a hushed place where, in the noticeable silence, creativity and musical expression can flourish. The peace that you so often find in the stillness can fuel creativity, but what really stands out is his uninhibited passion for music.
Shot and edited by Aled Ordu, the 11-minute film is a glorious insight into not only Fritch’s studio, but also his process and his personality. He sits and plays his cello — with a violin bow — on his porch, he plays around with his dog and he talks about the liberating solitude that can only be found in such a place. Fritch has escaped from the at times suffocating nature of the city, and while, at first glance, it would appear that he’s seemingly forfeited being part of a ‘scene’, so many more rewards lie in being an independent artist. He is true to himself and to his vision, and, without trying to sound overtly sentimental, his sound comes from his heart. His independent approach is obviously something that works. His studio is a personal space, and many musicians would view a film as invasive, but when we see Fritch’s enthusiasm on camera it’s hard not to be carried along with him.
Openly talking about his relationship with music, it’s clear that Fritch has a natural talent that burns inside. It’s a talent that allows him to ‘come up with melodies all day’, something deep inside that’s always twisting and turning. Inside the studio, the list of musical equipment isn’t just impressive — it’s a dream come true for the musician. Acoustic guitars hang on the walls, violins sit on top of keys, and an electric guitar nestles beside them. A xylophone lies in the middle, taking up a good deal of space. But the 21st century, electronic side of music is there, too. Along with the tape reels, Fritch runs his music through Logic on his computer. It’s a pretty spectacular collection, and everything has its place.
Percussion and piano, violin and guitar, nothing is out of his reach. The incredibly varied instrumentation makes up the rich and colourful world that we all hear in the music. Obviously, the sound of the instrument is crucial, but you get the feeling it’s the soul of the instrument that matters more than anything else, and the soul of the instrument that really speaks to him. It’s something that catches his eye (and, of course, his ear), as well as our own. Put simply, this film looks through the eyes of a spectacular musician and his way of life.
You can watch the first part of the film over on Exclaim!.