Tom Hodge & Franz Kirmann – Ghost Of My Grandfather

Exclusive audio taken from the original score for the indie documentary “The Man Behind The Microphone” composed by Tom Hodge and Franz Kirmann…

Directed by Claire Belhassine and produced by Claire de Lune Films and Roast Beef/Nutopia, The Man Behind The Microphone starts from a very personal story (the British director found out by chance in her early 30s that her grandfather was a legend of Tunisian music, the ‘Frank Sinatra’ of Tunisia) and turns into a family saga and a reflection on the nature of fame, culture, heritage and homeland.

Tom Hodge and Franz Kirmann have worked collaboratively over the past 10 years and have released three albums together under the guise of their post-classical/electronic moniker Piano Interrupted. This is their second soundtrack together, having composed the score to BBC One series McMafia earlier this year.

The Man Behind The Microphone took several years to complete and Kirmann & Hodge were involved early on, sketching compositions loosely inspired by some of Hédi Jouini’s own music. Sometimes they would sample a small musical phrase from his old recordings or write harmonies and chords in a relative key to use as a starting point for their pieces. Their score echoes the melancholy and investigative nature of Claire Belhassine’s quest for her grandfather and the mysterious and fragmented aspects of the story.

Kirmann’s vaporous electronics and Hodge’s ghostly piano and clarinet lines are mixed with earthy analog synth basses and a string quartet provided by the London Contemporary Orchestra. The soundtrack is a melancholic and dreamy journey over 9 pieces, oscillating between post classical, minimalist and ambient music.

“There is a real sense of culmination about this soundtrack. In one way way it is our very first score, as it started long before McMafia. But even more so, you might say it is simultaneously our first and last Piano Interrupted record, or our very first collaboration even. Our album Two By Four was strongly influenced by our work on the prototype of this film and the sound of Papa Hedi. Yet because of the longevity of this film project, our combined musical voice has been profoundly altered by our work on our other two Piano Interrupted albums, as well as the four hours of score we wrote for McMafia. Here we are, full circle.”

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