!GWAK RHYTHMS | Directed by Amber Bardell

!GWAK RHYTHMS was born from an initial idea I had about creating an original soundtrack for a documentary film involving various people who each have their own distinctive rhythm. Drawn from the notion of a ‘leitmotif’, a short reoccurring musical phrase, often used in film to represent a symbol or theme, this is something that I love from the soundtracks of some of my favourite films, including: Brick (2005) Dir. Rian Johnson & A Bout de Souffle (1960) Dir. Jean-Luc Godard – although I wanted to introduce it in to a Documentary sense. Much of my recent work is about combining elements of my two loves in film: Documentary realism with purpose and stylised, creative production design.

I quickly realised we already wanted to make a video to explain a bit about! GWAK and this would be the perfect way of doing it creatively. I started by interviewing Dom, our founder, and then we filmed with 8 other local members. We recorded a percussive element with each of them to form the layers of the final soundtrack. For these rhythms, we used elements of their environments such as the flick of a lamp, snipping paper or rattling jewellery in a jar. The soundtrack will soon be remastered and available to buy!

Creating this film enabled us to meet more of our members in person and discuss what they like about the collective as well as seeking feedback so that we can improve what we already have. It’s all about the essence of the community, which is why I also reached out to our illustrators to make a poster for the film. There are layers of collaborations going on here and its beginning to show off the shared talent that we are procuring as a community. Watch this space…