The live band Minima have been revitalising classic movies with their ‘audacious 21st-century interpretation of the images of silent and avant-garde film’, and on Sunday, March 28 they are in the Exeter Picurehouse with their soundscape to the shadowy, creepy classic The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. We found out more.
What is Minima and how do you approach what you do?
We are a completely live accompaniment band that performs to silent and experimental film. We use drums, electric guitar, bass and cello and no laptops or sequenced loops. The musical genres are unlimited, but can range from chamber music through to drum and bass. Our approach is very traditional but our sound can be out of the manual of silent film music to very contemporary and experimental.
What inspired Minima?
Silent and experimental film and the excitement of writing and performing live to these films.
How does venue affect the performance?
It effects the set up of our equipment and our positioning in relation to the screen and the audience, depending on the ergonomics of the space -ironically cinemas are more problematic then music venues as space can be very limited -as for the performance itself, once we feel comfortable we just get into the zone and lost in the film and what we are doing.
3-D is the new big thing, but how important is the musical dimension to create that immersive experience?
Very important but never more important than the film. It seems that 3-D cinema at the moment jumps out to much, so to speak, and get in the way of the narrative. For us the film is King. Sometimes people come up to us and say that at times they didn’t notice the music as they where so engrossed in the film. This is a actually a complement, but of course we do get complemented about our performance as well, which is really nice.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of a Minima performance?
The getting to the end of the film and knowing that we have performed it as well as we could. We have performed the odd show where it had gone down overwhelmingly well but where we felt it could of been much better and of course the applause at the end of a performance is wonderful.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Playing in Minima is probably the best gig I have ever done and the hardest. We can play practically anything we like if we feel it would fit a scene to a film and this means we have incredible creative freedom.
If you or Ashley would like to know more about the band and our methodology then there is an interview and master-class of sorts here with founding member Alex Hogg:
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