This is pretty cool. Earthset, a band from Bologna, Italy, sent me this video and some additional info about a live concert they recently did to go along with footage from the Italian movie “L’Uomo Meccanico,” or “The Mechanical Man.” It’s a science fiction silent film from 1921 that apparently was quite influential in the history of film. Earthset’s music for the film is experimental and atmospheric, but it has its heavier moments to go along with the movie. There’s a lot of interesting guitar work, and I think it’s a cool idea to bring these films back to life with contemporary music.
Here’s some more info from the band about it:
“Retour au ciné – Earthset, L’Uomo Meccanico” is the cine-concert film produced by Earthset for the film “L’Uomo Meccanico”, restored by the Cineteca di Bologna. A live performance that plays along with the film, one hundred years after its release, which once again recalls the close link between music and cinema, taking us back to the dawn of the seventh art.
Shot on February 12, 2021 at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna which shows all of its beauty by enveloping the show, the cine-concert film was made thanks to the contribution of the Emilia-Romagna Region, in collaboration with Ater Fondazione, and was produced by Fonoprint studios.
The title describes the film’s path, between cinema and music: from the 1921 film to Earthset’s soundtrack-music; then onto the cine-concert as a live show that the band played during the long 2019-2020 tour; and finally back to the cinema.
A path a message of hope in an era so marked by the pandemic crisis that is also a wish that cinemas may reopen.
The official presentation of the film was an exclusive preview for Univerciné Italien on March 14, 2021 at the closing of the festival. For its 2021 edition, Univerciné Italien – one of the four festivals of the Univerciné de Nantes international cycle – offered an entirely online program on Festival Scope (www.festivalscope.com/fr/).
The film also gave way a new edition of Viralissima, the digital music festival set up by the Department of Culture of the Emilia-Romagna Region and produced in collaboration with Ater Fondazione and LepidaTV.
“Retour au ciné – Earthset, L’Uomo Meccanico” gives life to Viralissima Soundtracks, a new format dedicated to works that integrate sound with visual communication.
After the French premiere, the film was broadcast on Thursday 18 March, at 21:00, on LepidaTV.
It was then also be made available permanently on the ERCreativa YouTube channel.
The project started in 2012, with Luigi (bass) Costantino (guitar) Emanuele (drums) and Ezio (vocals and guitar). Earthset translate into music a continuous state of alteration, evolution and dynamism through a non-linear structural composition, sharp and acid sounds, transitions between heavy distortions and limpid, clean sounds, generally cold psychedelic atmospheres disturbed by noise inserts. After their debut album “In a State of Altered Unconsciousness”, released on oct. 26th 2015, and the EP “POPISM”, released on march 17th 2017, they were assigned the mute film “L’Uomo Meccanico”(Italy-France 1921) during the Soundtracks 2018 project, sponsored by Corrado Nuccini (Giardini di Mirò) and Stefano Boni (Museo del cinema di Torino).
After that experience, in which they had the chance to work alongside musicians such as Nicola Manzan (Bologna Violenta/Ronin) and Tiziano Bianchi, “L’Uomo Meccanico – Live Soundtrack tour 2019” started, with the Cineteca di Bologna’s partnership. The live soundtrack is a mix of the band’s more experimental attitude (aggressive noise, dissonant and disturbing sounds) with the melodic research that has always characterized their writing.
“L’Uomo Meccanico” is the first Italian sci-fi movie, one of the very first mute films in the world to have a robot as a villain and probably the first one to show a fight between a good and an evil mechanical man. The film was lost for decades until a last copy was found in the Cinemateca Brasileira in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The reel was partially restored by the Cineteca di Bologna, with only 43 minutes left of the hour and a half of the original length
The soundtrack of the project was composed by the noise and post rock band Earthset.
The instruments used trace the project back to rock, but the dodecaphonic, hexatonal and dissonant harmonic inserts, the presence of noise effects contaminate the composition with forms of sound research typical of contemporary classical music.
As a result of the success of the long 2019 tour, the music written for the cine-concert was released on January 31, 2020 for Dischi Bervisti / Koe Records. The publication should have been followed by a long tour, canceled due to the ongoing pandemic crisis.
“Retour au ciné – Earthset, L’Uomo Meccanico” has been funded by Regione Emilia Romagna, in association with ATER Fondazione.
Band: Luigi Varanese, Costantino Mazzoccoli, Emanuele Orsini, Ezio Romano
Producers: Carlo Marrone, Claudio Adamo
Executive producer: Giacomo Golfieri
Direction and post-production: Paolo Mercadante
Live camera mixer: Roberto Ranzi
Operators: Luca Pesenti, Andrea Ranzi, Francesco Bagnani, Luca Rubertà
Lights by Daniele Naldi
Resident sound engineer: Emiliano Goso – recorded by Enrico Capalbo
Assistants: Pietro Giolito, Martino Scaglia
Mix and Master: Enrico Capalbo
Fulvio Macciardi, artistic director
Mauro Gabrieli, supervisor
Maurizio Tarantino, communication
Leonardo Madonia, machinist
Valentina Brunetti, archive