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send/receive - noise documentary


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send/receive is an independent film about the thriving Scottish experimental noise and abstract music community.

you can watch it at

snd-rcv.tumblr.com

Assembled from interviews with over 30 sound artists and features sonic contributions and live footage from many more.

Features funny, honest and frequently contradictory artist statements the film develops from a snapshot portrait of this vibrant subculture into a broader examination of the creative impulse, and of how people experience and define sound.

Shot on a borrowed camera in flats and venues througout Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee

Thanks!

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I gave this a watch and I found it really interesting and enlightening. I've never really fully embraced the noise scene as such, but I have gone to some noise gigs and got a lot out of it, whilst others have left me utterly frustrated; but some of the interviewees touch upon this themselves, and accept that that's the nature of the music they do.

Regardless of whether or not the music is conducive to my personal sonic palette, I do love to hear music nerds talk about music. Good video.

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I found this a little pretentious and feel it could have benefitted from having more of a focal point. Ok, so these people are making experimental music and have various views on the constituent parts of what they do but where is the narrative? Why should I give a shit about these people? It's only really of much interest if you care about, or are involved in the noise scene in glasgow, which I don't and am not. In clicking play on this video there was a chance I might later give a shit but by the end I still didn't. I'm saying that because there is real potential in this to be a very good documentary. Some of the discussion is really interesting but the only context I get is a talking head and some text with a name which means nothing to me. Give me some background to these people or show me some challenges they face: anything to create even the slightest hint of drama. There's no thread running through the thing and the only reason that bugs me enough to even comment on it is that there is soooo much there for it to be a great wee film.

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I actually completely see where you're coming from; it's less of a documentary per se, and perhaps more of just a feature on the noise scene; as you're right, there wasn't much of a narrative. That said, they all discussed, individually, similar things, so there was at least a theme running through what they were discussing, which held it together enough for me to remain engaged. But I just liked listening to people nerd out about music.

One thing that did interest me is how some of them had an ostensible disdain for what one of them termed "mainstream" music, and they seem to associate any music with a verse/chorus base as part of the "mainstream", which isn't necessarily the case at all. But I guess, in a way, that disdain fuels the noise the produce, and I fucking love songs fuelled by hate.

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I actually completely see where you're coming from; it's less of a documentary per se, and perhaps more of just a feature on the noise scene; as you're right, there wasn't much of a narrative. That said, they all discussed, individually, similar things, so there was at least a theme running through what they were discussing, which held it together enough for me to remain engaged. But I just liked listening to people nerd out about music.

One thing that did interest me is how some of them had an ostensible disdain for what one of them termed "mainstream" music, and they seem to associate any music with a verse/chorus base as part of the "mainstream", which isn't necessarily the case at all. But I guess, in a way, that disdain fuels the noise the produce, and I fucking love songs fuelled by hate.

Yeah, you've got a point. There is obviously a common theme but that theme should still be put in context. That doesn't have to come in the form of a 'story' as such but at least let the viewer know why they are listening to these people. Ok so there's a decent 'scene' going on but what is outwith this circle? Who are these indie guitar bands that these people are the antithesis of? One guy raises a point about scottish musicians collaborating with each other and there being this large network... show me an example or get another view on that subject, don't just cut from one person to the next with no explanation. I really enjoyed the actual discussion because, as you say passionate music nerds are always good but the lack of narrative elements are what prevents this from being really good. I mean, how much better a watch would this be if for example there was an upcoming noise event they were all gearing up for? show a little bit of the organization at the beginning, some footage of the event in the middle and some reaction at the end. Ach, I suppose if you look at it as a 'feature' it's good but I think there's potential there to elevate this to more than just a video on vimeo that'll have a few k views and turn it into a solid theatrical release that could do the rounds in independant cinemas and such.

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Hi, thanks for your interest in the film and your thoughtful and positive responses, I'll try and reply briefly...

The borrowed camera is significant because it limited the time available for shooting, also its simply the kind of detail worth mentioning to catch someone's interest. Sorry about the incomplete link, just incompetence on my part!

The three of us making the film are all based in Glasgow, making Aberdeen the furthest and least familiar city for inclusion in the film (not counting Inverness). Although we originally intended to research and shoot in the city time and financial constraints made it impossible. I believe John Cromar at least of the interviewees is from Aberdeen and others come from across Scotland and further afield.

I'm not sure if its possible to make a film about this kind of music without being at least a little bit pretentious! The original theory behind send/receive was simply to film a lot of people responding to the same set of questions, cut out the least interesting parts and hopefully whatever was left would be good! As such it was always intended to be a partial, impressionistic snapshot of the activities in Scotland, but the logistics of making the film forced our hand even more. With limited filming opportunities lots of people we would have liked to include didn't respond, couldn't make it or plain failed to show up, some interviews just didn't work out well on film despite great responses from the interviewees or couldn't be used for technical reasons. Trying to create a 'history' or 'accurate representation' would be impossible with the resources and footage we had as well as possibly contentious for those involved depending on how they were represented.

I also wouldn't want to be responsible for claiming an authoritative knowledge of the history of this kind of music in Scotland or how the 'scene' works. In fact I think the final result is a better representation of the nebulous and random nature of this kind of activity than any attempt to be definitive could hope to be. There is a thread in that the interviewees tend to be discussing similar things at the same time, even if they totally contradict each other, and the viewer is required to make their own links between statements rather than be spoonfed a narrative. This music tends to be about dislocation and individualism and the need to make your own choices and I think the film reflects that. To make a traditionally structured film about such an experimental subject would be a contradiction. I had personally hoped for the film to be even more disorientating and challenging to watch with a big psychedelic noise 2001 Space Odyssey type ending! Thankfully Ben the editor kept things a bit more lucid than that, but maybe next time...

Of course we had other ideas- to film an event of some kind and lots of additional footage but in the end the main deciding factor in the development of this movie was practicality.With a limited budget and work, family and other commitments we had to shoot and gather what footage we could and then make that into the best film possible with the time and resources available. I'm very proud of what we've achieved. Its possible that there are many ways in which it could be improved but the simple truth is that this film had to be either this film or no film.

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thanks for the detailed response, it helps to understand some of the reasons for the film turning it out how it did. i found it quite interesting if a little disconnected from it's subject, in that some longer footage of performance or music would have helped give it more context. you've explained why this wasn't possible in this instance.

maybe you could view this as a sketch for a future, broader film.

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