Mary Lattimore / Jeff Zeigler

Music Inspired by Philippe Garrel's Le Révélateur

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Longtime fixtures of the Philadelphia music scene, harpist Mary Lattimore and engineer/multi-instrumentalist Jeff Zeigler composed a soundtrack to 1968 silent film Le Révélateur for a 2013 screening of the movie in Marfa, Texas. With the blessing of the film's director, Philippe Garrel, the duo continued to perform the score along with additional screenings of the film. The studio recording of the film score, produced at Zeigler's own Uniform Recording, was released by Thrill Jockey in 2016. The film depicts a young boy's journey away from an unsympathetic family, and the tone of the music appropriately mixes feelings of uncertainty, fear, and hope. The spacious album unfolds slowly, with Lattimore's delicate harp pluckings accompanied by Zeigler's ambient guitars and synthesizers, as well as the occasional melodica. Lattimore often adds trippy delay effects to her harp playing, as she does on her solo recordings, giving the music a haunted, surrealist bent. While much of the album feels gentle and steady, the film's more turbulent scenes are reflected by moments like "Running Chased," which features noisier electronic effects as well as more physical harp playing, with the sounds of knocking wood clashing with laser-like noises. Some of the album's more peaceful, drifting moments nearly resemble a collaboration between Alice Coltrane and Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie. The recording ends with a tearful, sweeping eight-minute finale titled "The Sparkling Sea," which takes the score's recurring melodic theme to its dramatic conclusion. It's worth noting that the film is a little over an hour long, so the film's score had to be edited down for vinyl release, but the LP includes a download card for the full score as one continuous track. Independent of the visuals, the truncated version might actually be a better listening experience, as it tightens up the flow without making it seem rushed or leaving out any important developments in the music. Either way, it's a lush, gorgeous piece of music.

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