I’ve been meaning to post some of the images from the ‘New Blood - Live in London’ interface design for some time. It’s a strange thing with interface design in that you almost never get any feedback, at least if it works you don’t. If there’s a problem people will let you know but if there isn’t people quite naturally just pass through and enjoy the content. The lack of any feedback this time around must be credited to Otto Philip, the Art Director and Vicky Lopez the Producer at Sony DADC with whom I worked on the implementation across the various disc formats. The clip here is not a million miles from the finished product, but is the initial sketch I put together to show the direction we wanted to go in.
The images for the interface come from a different perspective to those used elsewhere on Peter’s New Blood project - following a more impressionistic path I’ve strayed along since photographing ‘OVO - The Millennium Show’ at the Millennium Dome back in 2000. I remember at that show talking with Gideon Mendel, who was I think there with pretty much the same brief as me. He looked at me a little askance as he saw I was attempting to both film and photograph the show. It occurred to me at that moment that with my limited equipment and duel tasks I was never gong to get the technically perfect record I had in my mind and he was capturing on film. Out of that realisation came a set of images that worked with the slow exposures I was having to use, emphasised movements in myself, the camera and the subject. A slight theme has developed with me sneaking these images into various projects - those first shots became the cover of Peter Gabriel’s album of the show, another set found their way into various aspects of the ‘Growing Up Live’ project, most notably the DVD interface, so it seemed appropriate to squeeze some into New Blood. These images are never going to meet the brief for most uses, so have to be gathered in a few fleeting moments where you dare to switch your intention from capturing a moment of clarity to capturing an impression.
The resulting New Blood interface is at it’s best on the 3D Blu-ray where the team at Sony did a great job of putting some distance between the various elements - so that the menu operates on several planes. Scott Barnett and Richard Chappell did a great job with the audio - which again follows a theme we’ve employed on Peter’s previous releases, remixing audio with elements of the ‘talk back’ from the film crew at the concert.
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Portico Quartet‘s rehearsal space is just around the corner from this empty warehouse in Walthamstow. It seemed to be the perfect venue to film them performing a couple of tracks from their just completed, self-titled third album ‘Portico Quartet’
The idea was to create a similar feeling to ‘Line’ which I had shot during the recording of their last album ‘Isla’ at Abbey Road Studios. That footage was really a by-product of the then new Canon 5D Mk11’s video capabilities. Where before I had to grab stills between audio takes and then pause as the red light went on, I was able to switch to the silent video mode and film the recording process. I think they were surprised that a video of the session emerged as no one really knew what I was doing.
Ruins is still pretty low key video making, with the one technical addition for this shoot being a Zacuto Z-Finder (and some lights) - the extra point of contact with the eyepiece allows for a much steadier shot - particularly when shooting for extended periods - and it is of course pretty seductive to look through. With the shallow depth of filed I wanted, it also makes it a whole lot easier to see when you’re in focus. I’ve been playing around with various screens on the camera, and there’s definitely something to be said for the more extreme angles you can easily achieve, but there’s still something to be said for looking through a viewfinder.
You can download the track free, or at least in exchange for a click I’ve been listening to this a lot and I’m still loving it, they’ve found a way to really move their sound on, without loosing that Portico Quartet sound. I’m tempted to single out Jack’s saxophone playing - when he comes in with the melody, it’s great, but then again there’s Milo’s bass, and were would they be with Duncan’s drums and electronics. Thinking about it now, there’s also the great moment when new addition Kier switches from hang to keyboard.
Thanks to Amanda Jones and Adam Campbell from Real World Records for their assistance on the day - who says you can’t spend over eight hours in a warehouse with nothing but beer and chemically enhanced corn chips for sustenance. Next time I’ll pack the coffee machine.
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