Under The Influence

Drawing on the scores, scripts and performances from films such as Woman Under The Influence, Love Streams and Minnie and Moskowski, Under The Influence is a live improvisational performance by artist Kathryn Elkin and artist-musicians Simone Congreave, Anne Marie Copestake, John McKeown and Ariki Porteous that explores the exchange between script and soundtrack in the films and compositions of John Cassavetes and Bo Harwood.

Notorious for a directorial style that encouraged actors to embody their character’s meaning using voice, gesture and interpersonal relations, John Cassavetes’ films have long been couched in terms of theatrical improv and noted for their absence of the traditional cinematic semiotics. Sound producer and composer Bo Harwood began his twelve year stint with the director in 1971, first credited as musical supervisor for Minnie and Moskowski and later going on to compose the soundtracks for Cassavetes classics such as Woman Under The Influence and Killing of a Chinese Bookie.

Though Harwood was an accomplished composer it was his unflinching, unrefined and emotive soundtrack demos that Cassavetes often took to the final cut. These scratch tracks the populate many of the director’s films provide their audiences with an acoustic mirror that doubles and bolsters the raw, gestural performances of the cast.

Setting the scene musically, Congreave, Copestake, McKeown and Porteous will deliver a blend of compositions written by Bo Harwood for John Cassavetes’ films, accompanied by and producing the conditions for Elkin’s impromptu obbligatos of remembered lines, dialogue and gestures.

Under The Influence is the final instalment of the Shady Dealings With Language series. It is devised by artist Kathryn Elkin and generously hosted by Rhubaba Gallery, Edinburgh.

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