Standard black vinyl (750 Copies) with sleeve art taken from the 1971 film poster. Cool as fuck.
Side One is the score for Sunday Bloody Sunday, the controversial 1971 drama directed by John Schlesinger. Starring Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson and Murray Head, it tells the story of an open love triangle between a gay Jewish doctor, a divorced woman and a bisexual young male artist who makes glass fountains. Daniel Day Lewis also makes his uncredited screen debut as a yobbo scratching up posh cars. The films significance at the time of release lay in the depiction of a mature gay man who was both successful, well adjusted and at peace with his sexuality.
The music on Side Two comes from two different sources: tracks one to four are from the 1985 Channel Four documentary about Viv Richards. Simply called “Viv” it was directed by Greg Lanning, with words and narration by Darcus Howe. It was (and still is) a fascinating film recounting Richards’ rise from young talented Antiguan to global cricket superstar. It also explored the long history of West Indian players through the English game. Howe later recalled how seeing Viv Richards walking out to bat at the Oval (just down the road from where Howe lived in Brixton) without a helmet on no matter how fast the bowler was - and wearing his Rasta sweatbands of gold, green and red, was inspirational. The documentary was later re-titled ‘Viv Richards - King Of Cricket’ for the video market, and let’s face it, that’s a more commercial title. I’d strongly recommend trying to track it down to spend an hour or so in the company of Viv and Darcus. As I write this it’s still up on a popular online streaming site for free.
The last six cues of Side Two are from a 1970 BBC Omnibus film ‘Shapes In A Wilderness’. Directed by Tristram Powell this was a documentary about the importance and influence of art therapy in mental hospitals, tracing its origins from a painting hut in a wartime military hospital to its successful and widespread incorporation in institutions. It featured fascinating medical insights, disturbing imagery and Ron’s finely tuned accompaniment. On its original transmission John Schlesinger saw it and was heard to say “I must have that composer for my new film!”. And he got his way.
I could spend another paragraph analysing the music and stuff like that but you can listen and work all that out for yourself. But I will say that all the music just confirms the fact that Ron Geesin is one of the most underrated, inventive and versatile composers (and musicians) we have.
1: Sky HIgh Balloons
2: Intriguing Cables
3: Bittersweet Reflections
4: Affections For String Quartet (unknown Studio String Quartet)
5: Chemical Dreams (voice Bridget St. John)
6: Blitzful Memories
7: Piccadilly Bustle
8: Motoring Sparkle (Second Gtr: Bridget St. John)
9: Wayward Balloons
Tracks 1 - 4 From The Soundtrack Of ‘Viv’
1: War Of The Willow
2: Slo-Mo Bowl
3: Through Loud Bamboo
4: Antiguan Stroll Tracks
5 -10 From The Soundtrack Of ‘Shapes In A Wilderness’
5: Mad Picture Gallery
6: Sculptural Drift
7: Muttering Mini Monsters
8: Cranial Cathedral
9: Ghostly Wasps
10: Hope And Misery