Strings 2

In a furious day of recording, we gathered together an assortment of eight, fine Auckland string players to record music for Field Punishment No.1 – husband and friends among them.

Andre Upston (Radio New Zealand) – who engineered the session – and I have been working together for a very long time (any musical locals reading this will remember the wonderful – and sorely missed – Helen Young Studio on Cook Street, where Andre presided and where so many of us recorded albums and soundtracks and did broadcasts and spent countless sleepless hours getting pissed and scrambling to meet deadlines… those were the days…. sigh!). But it’s been a few years since Andre and I last did a soundtrack together… and of course, he got a gorgeous sound out of the players and the room (Native Audio... a lovely wooden space that has yielded many a happy noise over the years).

Andre Upston

And, what’s the point of living and working in a small country if you can’t engage in a spot of healthy nepotism?… so, here’s my dear husband, Ashley Brown, recording some solo cello. I don’t hire him simply out of favoritism… or for his hotness (though it’s a perfectly good incentive)… or because it’s an excellent opportunity to boss him around. He’s actually quite good.

Ashley Brown

He’s not photographed here, but another brilliant contributor to the score has been Nigel Gavin, who provided gorgeous performances on the guitar – and most importantly, the Ukelele, (which has somehow managed to feature in the score for a film about the desperation of the First World War – and the morality / or lack thereof, of war in general).

Strings 1

Also crucial to the success of the recordings was Ryan Youens, who managed to get the notes out of my disordered sessions and make them legible for the musicians. How I ever lived without him, I simply cannot bear to remember.

We pre-mix tomorrow and deliver on Tuesday. I don’t foresee a great deal of sleep in the next 72 hours…

4 thoughts on “Field Punishment No.1 / Recording Sessions

  1. Very interested and moved to hear about this venture. I am the Archivist at a Quaker school in Reading, UK and am currently researching aspects of former pupils’ involvement in the First World War, especially as COs. Any further info about the film and, if possible, an mp3 track of some music from it would be very much appreciated. THANK YOU.

    1. Hi there John. Thanks for your comment. I’m so sorry but I can’t send any music prior to the release of the film, which isn’t until next year. Once it comes out, I will put some tracks up on my site (so you’ll be able to listen then, although you won’t be able to download them). Have you read Archibald Baxter’s book? It’s called We Will Not Cease. The film is not an adaptation of the book, I must stress, but We Will Not Cease is his autobiography and it is a very compelling and beautifully written account of what happened to him during the war. Here is a link to where you can read it online: I also highly recommend you read the poetry of Archibald Baxter’s son, James K Baxter. He is one of New Zealand’s great poets and – though he has nothing to do with the war – his language and his way of thinking is a fascinating continuation of his father’s line. Here is a link to one of his classics… it is short but breathtaking and almost every New Zealander knows it…

      1. Thank you very much, Victoria. The music is beautiful, haunting and evocative, even though obviously I have not seen the film. Good luck with the project. I hope the film will be released in the UK.

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