Recreating Gainsbourg at Abbey Road
My son has just completed his first independent film commission, for Coup Perdu records. Looking for Melody is a 50 minute documentary about the recording of Sine Qua Non, an album of Serge Gainsbourg songs recast in a jazz idiom. Filmed mainly at Abbey Road Studio 2 – where so much rock history was made – it captures the evolution of musical creation in the hands and minds of a diverse group of musicians, engineers, and producer. It’s a process of exploration and discussion, trying things out, abandoning ideas that don’t work, arguing for what you hear or hope to hear, starting, stopping and starting again.
Having watched the film itself evolve over the past year, I can’t be objective about it, but I love the way he’s caught the atmosphere of the sessions in a slow, stylish unfolding that fits the music perfectly. The album is out now, as a double LP from the record company website, with a beautiful cover painted by Peter Doig.