Director: Matthew Somerville
Production company: Sava Films Ltd
This feature documentary follows the river Sava, which passes through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia. The river is voiced by the late celebrated Balkan actress Mira Furlan.
For this film we tried a slightly different approach to the usual composition to picture format. Director Matthew and I drew up a collaboration document that set out a number of themes, a mode (D Dorian) and rough pacing of the core musical ideas.
We then sent this document out to a set of individual and collective musicians, including a cellist, an accordionist, a guitarist, a saxophonist and a clarinettist. We invited the players to improvise on the themes and send us the recorded improvisations.
Out of a wealth of improvised material, none of which was recorded to click, we then wove a tapestry of contrasting and sometimes harmonious parts. The result is a kind of counterpoint, but without a strong rhythmical frame.
The fluid coming and going of parts reflects the nature of the evolving river waters, winding through diverse landscapes.