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Some warm gestures from Scott Twynholm. Alasdair Gray, A Life In Progress is the soundtrack to the film by director Kevin Cameron about Glaswegian author Alasdair Gray. It's a lesson in production and captures a multitude of human emotions and feelings. With luscious synths, spacious production and arrangements of acoustic instruments a la Moondog. This record gives you a very real insight into Gray's life and is so vivid you feel like you are watching the film. Out on vinyl LP from De-Fence.

LP £16.49

LP on De-Fence in hand silkscreen-printed sleeve.

  • Includes download code.
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Alasdair Gray, A Life In Progress by Scott Twynholm
1 review. Write a review for us »
8/10 Robin Staff review, 20 January 2015

‘A Life In Progress’ is a forthcoming film by Kevin Cameron that celebrates the life and impact of Alasdair Gray, a writer who has melded politically inclined works with world-beating sci-fi. The score hints at a warm and overwhelmingly affectionate tribute: Scott Twynholm, the man behind the music, has conducted an orchestra of cellists, violinists, banjo players and percussionists to create a sound that exists like an open fire; something old-fashioned that can endure the modern day. Perhaps the true homeliness of the record comes from the spoken word samples of Gray himself, though; his voice is nimble and almost innately witty, constantly sounding a little bemused, with each fact about his life on “1982 Janine” uttered like it’s a question being posed to us.

Twynholm is a versatile artist who knows the full impact of a biopic score encompasses as many emotions as its subject feels. Like Johan Johannssen’s recent soundtrack for ‘The Theory of Everything’, Twynholm has no problem abandoning his exceedingly romantic compositions for colder, harsher tones; at times the work is lent the melancholic crescendos found in post-rock, and his piano wobbles more than it shimmers. Claire Knight’s work on violin is able to change compositions with the snap of a finger, taking songs out of their pastoral folk hiding place and making them crushingly foreboding; it’s a fitting tone to capture for Gray, a writer whose dark comedic tones make life sound both classic and tragic.

'A Life In Progress’ is a work of strange juxtapositions -- it’s taut and meditative, moving at the speed of an inspirational blockbuster but with the warmth and quiet resistance to grandiosity that Olan Mill perfect. It feels like home but moves like an adventure -- two ideals we’re all caught between, and two lives it feels as if Gray has lived.


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