Cluny Strachan: Composer for Film and Television
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"Cluny Strachan's score, oscillating between dreamy chorales of a Howard Skempton and the incessant rhythms of Goldie, bespeaks a composer who knows what he wants and is happy to plunder as many different types of music as he needs to get it." Robert Dawson Scott, The Guardian

Ob-Doc Music – Ye’d Scarce Tell Wha Had Wan

November 22, 2016

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This soundtrack is one of a new thread in my work inspired by 4.1 Miles by Daphne Matziaraki, an observational documentary about a coast guard captain on a small Greek island who is suddenly charged with saving thousands of refugees from drowning at sea. The music by William Ryan Fritch and additional music by Thanos Mikroutsikos is exquisite, and well used.

This film reminds us that we can not afford to dislocate world events from their human contexts.

The film vividly captures the not only the realities of the immigration crisis confronting the Greek Coast Guard, but also an almost transfixing depth of humanity in their attempts to save lives and understand the world in which they live. It brings out in us, the viewer, the realisation of our atavistic compulsions of compassion, that we too would do the same if in that situation that to try, that to care is an inherent property of the human condition.

The film gives the viewer a window to observe a deeply human story in the context of it own unfolding real time. It is a human reality so often dislocated from how we engage with the ‘news’, beyond that of cold facts, often, if not always, distorted by some other political factor like the Greek bailout, the rise of the european political right, mob rule, mass resentment against immigrants. It is a world feeding on prejudice, and there must always be films and other media and music, like this to dispel it. As Vasily Grossman said, there must always be a place for new ideas in any true democratic system as without them breeds hopelessness, inertia and social unrest. Without new ideas there can be no change, or hope for the next generation to participate in the world around them.

This film bridges the gap between real life and a false reality nurtured not only by what is said in the media, but by what isn’t. A world where television and newspapers often subject us to one prejudice meaning another, upon which it seems malign forces then use to manipulate public opinion, promote prejudice, and desensitise us as form of social control, and release the grip of our vote.

The realities of the crisis captured in 4.1 miles return world events to their human contexts. The film gave me hope, and this belief that through the power of film’s ability to connect world problems to human perspectives solutions become possible, become illuminated. Once the human dynamic is returned to the social and hence political engine, we see where we need to get. Without compassion without understanding, without object reality, solutions seem distant and meaningless. With them solutions and the means to realise them become abundant.

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