Euphony (meaning 'pleasant combination of sounds. Opposite of cacophony') was created during a residency at the North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University. Over the course of the residency I became fascinated by the sheer quantity of archived material, processes of conservation, the cataloguing and description of films and with recurrent obsessions and repetitions contained within home movies.
It was curious to notice how much material was reminiscent of scenes from Dziga Vertov's 1929 silent film The Man with a Movie Camera. This classic Soviet film presents the day in the life of a city (actually shot in several locations) with its dazzling focus on 'life caught unawares'. I started to view material exclusively from the Archive's amateur collection, and made selections which loosely corresponded to some of the themes of the film: the mobility of the camera man, divisions of work and leisure, rituals of daily life and so on.
Euphony takes the prologue of the Vertov film as a starting point: the audience assembles inside a theatre to watch the film, the projectionist examines the reels and the orchestra ready themselves to play. The brass band Vintage Brass (from Huddersfield) were enlisted to play one cold Sunday morning in March at Exchange Square, to provide a recurring visual and audio 'soundtrack' for the piece. Two amateur filmmaking groups participated in filming work taking place within the Archive (where their own films have or may end up) and documenting the performance of the brass band. Euphony ultimately meshes together archive film with material specially shot on digital video and super 8 film.
The band :zoviet*france: produced a soundtrack, which is largely generated from field recordings I made in the Archive (such as whirring cine cameras, the mechanism of a Steenbeck, the clash of film cans and so on) and sampled recordings of the brass band playing at Exchange Square.