Cinematic Orchestra

The brilliantly-named Cinematic Orchestra is led by composer/programmer/multi-instrumentalist Jason Swinscoe, who formed his first group, Crabladder, in 1990 as an art student at Cardiff College. Crabladder's fusion of jazz and hardcore punk elements with experimental rhythms inspired Swinscoe to further explore the possibilities of sampling, and by the time of the group's demise in the mid-'90s, he was DJing at various clubs and pirate radio stations in the UK.

The music he recorded on his own at the time melded '60s and '70s jazz, orchestral soundtracks, rhythm loops and live instrumentation into genre-defying compositions, as reflected on his contribution to Ninja Tune's 1997 Ninja Cuts 3 collection and his remixes of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Coldcut tracks. The Cinematic Orchestra built on this musical blueprint, letting a group of live musicians improvise over sampled percussion or basslines. The Orchestra included saxophonist/pianist Tom Chant, bassist Phil France and drummer Daniel Howard, who also recorded the Channel One Suite and Diabolus EPs for Ninja Tune with Swinscoe. The project's full-length debut Motion arrived in 1999 to great acclaim, which culminated in the Cinematic Orchestra's performance at the Directors' Guild Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony for Stanley Kubrick later that year in London. After the collection Remixes 1998-2000, their second album Every Day followed in 2002, with vocal features for Fontella Bass and Roots Manuva. Man With a Movie Camera, a 2003 release on CD and DVD, offered a 1999 film score Cinematic Orchestra had provided for the reairing of a 1929 Soviet documentary.


Fresh from a UK and European tour in support for their critically-acclaimed second album for Ninja Tune, 'Every Day,' J.Swinscoe and band are now set to present their latest unique and groundbreaking musical offering - a live score to the classic silent flick 'Man with a Movie Camera'.

In late 1999, Swinscoe was asked by the organisers of the Porto Film Festival if the band wanted to score a soundtrack to a silent movie. It seemed a perfect opportunity to expand the ideas of TCO into the world which had givne them their name. But the difference was this was for a one off live performance. The film was Dziga Vertov's ?Man With A Movie Camera,? a 1929 early documentary cinema film from the Soviet Union. The performance in a old theatre space in Porto ended with a standing ovation of 3,500 people. Since that evening TCO have performed the score live at film festivals from Turkey to Scotland.

But the work also had a formative influence on the album that was to become ?Every Day?. Certain tracks that made it on to the album were written specifically for the score, but more than that it made Swinscoe and the band think in terms of combining sounds and textures and unfolding narratives over a period of time using those sounds. In particular, the title 'Every Day' was based on the narrative in the film, which portrays a day in the life of an idealised Soviet society, starting fom people waking up in the morning, moving through various work place ideas, then into leisure time and then back into the cinema...

Now TCO will take this unique project on a theatre tour starting at the Barbican in March and Ninja Tune will release a studio-recorded live DVD. An unmissable event and a must for cinephiles as well as music lovers, this promises to be a unique experience.

Cinematic Orchestra also played at...