Tuesday 16 February 2016

Hear My Eyes event - "Heartbeats" and GL

Heartbeats (2010) dir. Xavier Dolan
There is, and always has been, a constant drive to enhance people's movie watching experience, including IMAX and 3D screens and even 4D (Smell-O-Vision) screenings. Melbourne based arts organisation, Hear My Eyes, however, has taken a different approach in creating a unique experiences for audiences by incorporating live scores to accompany the film screening.

Canadian director Xavier Dolan's 2010 film, Heartbeats, which follows the story of two friends who fall in love with the same man, has been chosen for this project's screening. "The creative process varies for each project. On some occasions we choose the band first, and then it’s a matter of searching high and low for the perfect film that will suit their taste. On other occasions we choose the film first, then pitch the idea to a select few bands whose sound will complement the film," explains Creative Director, Haydn Green. "In this case, Heartbeats was chosen first and from there we focused on the band. Because Heartbeats is such a sexy, stylized film with a lot of energy and emotion, we chose local Melbourne band GL, (aka Ella Thompson and Graeme Pogson) whose 80's analogue synth pop possess the same characteristics."

"Almost every group we’ve approached so far have loved the concept. I think it’s a really refreshing project for bands that are in the cycle of recording and touring over and over, because they get an opportunity to do something outside of that paradigm," Green says. "The musicians have full creative control of the approach they take with the re-score, so they get the opportunity to explore musical directions that they may not have the chance to usually. Generally speaking, the musicians who’ve worked on previous projects have expressed how creatively demanding, but ultimately liberating the process is."

GL (Graeme Pogson and Ella Thompson)
This will be the fifth event for Hear My Eyes, having opened for the 2015 Lorne Film festival, with a screening of The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga with live score by another Melbourne band, Sleep Decade. "The responses have been amazing so far. They have been extremely well attended and we’ve received great feedback from audiences. We couldn’t be happier with the level of support that we’ve been shown so far," says Green. "We try to get as much feedback as possible, and besides the occasional piece of (much welcomed) constructive criticism, audiences have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It all really comes down to what the musicians decide to do on the night, and so far we’ve been fortunate enough to work with a number of exceedingly talented musicians that have put on a number of memorable shows." These memorable shows are bound to continue with Hear My Eyes also organising an event during this year's Human Rights Arts and Film Festival in May.

For Green, the possibilities are endless with the variations that Hear My Eyes events can take, and not just in terms of the films and music. "I’d love to work with a classic blockbuster film. We haven’t attempted to re-score a well-known, classic piece of mainstream cinema, but it’s definitely on our agenda. At this point we’re thinking along the lines of something like pairing Ghostbusters with an 80’s influenced synth group or Mad Max with a psychedelic rock band. We want to do something that will be a little wild and lot of fun for the audience," he explains. "We’ve even brainstormed about pairing an event with a selection of food or alcohol that would complement the experience; and even screening the film in a location that matches the setting of the film. All logistical nightmares on our end, but the challenges are half the fun!”

The intention of Hear My Eyes events is to create a shared experience for its audience, explains Green. "We want the audience, to feel like they’ve shared a moment with everyone in the room when they are leaving. Although these projects are far from audience participatory live art, the live sound produced by the musicians during each project produces a certain kind of energy in the room that’s intoxicating and when it's paired with great cinema, it creates a unique shared temporal experience for everyone." With previous events having been met positively, this looks like it's going to be an even bigger year for Hear My Eyes, so book your tickets via the link below to find out what all the hype is about!

Venue: HOWLER, 7-11 Dawson St, Brunswick, 3058
Season: Thursday 3 March, 7pm

Tickets: $20
Hear My Eyes


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