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Be with Records

Kenny Dickenson - Les Rivihres (Original Soundtrack)

Kenny Dickenson - Les Rivihres (Original Soundtrack)

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We finally made it: BEWITH100LP! And what better way for a re-issue label to celebrate such a landmark catalogue number than to give it to a record of new music. We couldn't resist when the artist is Official Be With Family Member Kenny Dickenson and when the music is his lovely, lovely score to French-Vietnamese artist Mai Hua's 2020 documentary film "Les Rivières". If you enjoy the more minimal, intimate piano of the likes of Nils Frahm or John Carroll Kirby's solo work, you're certain to fall for this beautiful album. Taking six years to make, Mai's film explores what happened when she brought her dying grandmother to France, pulling together four generations of women from the same family. Kenny's score accompanies all the pretty things, sad things, dirty, beautiful, happy, broken and reborn moments of these women's experiences. The whole score is built around delicate, sparkling piano motifs. At times they're joined by cello and complemented with ambient chords and other flourishes. It's a very particular palette that Kenny and Mai established early on, as Kenny explains: "We had agreed on a particular sonic aesthetic early on in the process - to use specific and relatively minimal instrumentation, reflecting the intimacy of the picture. So piano and cello were quite prominent in instructing a sense of space and immediacy. Until I had to get the junkyard percussion out... " When it comes to describing the end results, Kenny's happy to wear his influences on his sleeve: "When the director and I sat down for the creative meetings early in the process, we watched 'Wolf Children', a Japanese animation film by Mamoru Hosoda. The amazing soundtrack by Masakatsu Takagi was a launching point for me and thereafter I leaned into more modern classical composers - Reich, Sakamoto, Glass as well as Jon Hassell's Fourth World output. Richard Reed Parry's 'Music for Heart and Breath' was a good early touchstone for me and Mark Hollis' sparse, considered and deliberate approach was a constant presence. Also labels like Ghostly, ASIP and the ubiquitous Erased Tapes should probably get a nod here too..." We'd even suggest there's the occasional Yann Tiersen moment in there too. Out of sheer necessity the collaboration between Kenny and Mai continued beyond this initial creative direction. With Kenny speaking neither French nor Vietnamese, Mai acted as translator, a process that naturally lead to discussing the film beyond just what was being said in the footage. Mai herself explains just how successful this relationship felt to her: "Music plays a very important role in all my work, particularly in Les Rivières. I cried every time Kenny sent me a new composition. I felt understood in a way that words cannot describe. It was absolutely magical and I am so happy if this music can make your soul vibrate too."

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