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Martino Unstrung (Soundtrack, 82 minutes)

Mermikides, Milton (2008) Martino Unstrung (Soundtrack, 82 minutes) [Composition]

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Role: Composer and researcher. Funded by the Wellcome Trust, this full–length film documents the life of internationally acclaimed jazz guitarist Pat Martino. The composer role allowed direct collaboration with Martino, research (presented at the Royal Musical Association, UCL, British Library and in an OUP publication) into the rhythmic and motivic aspects of his improvisational style, and an engagement with the field of music neuroscience. Martino, an established jazz guitar pioneer suffered a severe aneurism in 1980, and his resulting amnesia devastated his career. His subsequent return to virtuosity (by “relearning from his own recordings”) is a compelling story and well received (“Perhaps the finest documentary abut a jazz musician ever made” Vic Shermer, All About Jazz, 2008) with the film disseminated widely. Key research questions in this project: i) What can be learned about Martino’s improvisational strategies, micro-timing expression and melodic interpretation concepts - which he feels unable to articulate - through detailed digital audio analyses of multiple takes of one piece? ii) How can Martino’s theoretical concepts (Martino 2004, 2005) be implemented effectively in a film score composition stylistically divorced from the jazz idiom? Key insights include the identification of latency contours, micro-timing iso-placement and melodic shadowing in his improvisational style, described in my paper Temporal Plasticity which has been disseminated at international jazz conferences and events including Smithsonian Jazz Appreciation Month at the Rubin Museum (New York), the Leeds International Jazz Conference, Rhythm Changes (Amsterdam) the British Library and in a chapter in the forthcoming 2013 publication Music and Shape (OUP). The project gathers the diverse disciplines of jazz improvisation, electronic composition, data sonification, jazz history and neuroscience into an accessible and engaging commercial output. The screenings at film festivals, and at jazz and neuroscience conferences has engaged a wide, otherwise disparate, audience. Movie website:

Item Type: Composition
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Date : 1 July 2008
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:28
Last Modified : 24 Sep 2019 13:58

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