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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