Shadows of the world happens when climate change has finally led to the complete natural destruction of the planet. Four strangers, who share only their need for survival, find refuge underground. They appear to be the only survivors. Their yearning for salvation will test their conscience. In the heart of darkness conflict seems inescapable. A film about man's confrontation with every second to follow, until the very last.
It is our pleasure to interview Eleni Lomvardou, the composer of the film project.
Tell us about the inspiration behind the making of your project and composing the music.
"Shadows of the World" is an avant garde film that delivers in a very original way, in silent movie style, its themes. The planet destruction and its effect on the human nature, and the human temperament and behavior under the most hostile conditions. These themes are powerful and a great inspiration since they are now more important and timely than ever.
Also to compose music for a silent film, a film with no dialogue, was an inspiration on its own. It called for an original score that played throughout the film as an extra actor, in a way to fill the role of the dialogue in communicating the story. A score to blend with the dark. claustrophobic, cold atmospere, but also express the strong emotions of the film, the despair, the fear, the anger, the bittersweet nostalgia, the warm spiritual elevation, and the divine catharsis that comes in the end. It called for a score to contribute in making sense of the shifting tones that occur throughout the film, and in understanding the characters psychology and the motives behind their actions.
Why were these themes in your film important to you to work on? Tell us about how the story started forming and developing for you.
"Shadows of the World" is a film that delivers very strong themes. As I mentioned above, the planet destruction and its effect on the human nature, and the human temperament and behavior under the most hostile conditions. Themes that are extremely important to me, especially now that the Pandemic and the climate change showed us humans how fragile and small we really are. These themes are actually now more important than ever, and their importance will only keep growing in the future. Actions need to be taken and I, as an Artist, feel that if I can raise awareness through my Art, that is exactly what I should be aiming at and trying to accomplish.
Talk to us about how the project went into production and the most challenging or interesting thing about the process of composing for the project.
The challenge when working for "Shadows of the World" was that its story is delivered in a Silent movie style, with no dialogue, in an expressionistic atmoshere that blends with surrealism. An avant garde, highly Artistic film that delivers in a very original way its themes. So the score had to follow that originallity, reflect the expressionistic atmosphere but also made sense so that it would contribute in following the film's shifting tones and understanding the story and the characters inner world.
So, instead of treating this score with let's say a monothematic approach, I divided the film in three sections.
First section showing the dark, strange underground space called for a more electronic sound in both the music and the Sound design/sfx. I actually had to do a lot of sound design alongside with the music composition.
The second section focusing on the 4 characters and their battle for survival called for the introduction of a more human element (viola, and voices) that would blend with the electronic sounds. In this section we see the battle of those characters and so the music has to change mood and express the violence, the fear, the characters inner world and explain the motives for their actions.
The third section with the photostories showing us the past and the memories of the 4 characters of the film in their last hour as they are dying, called for a more emotional approach so the human and warmer element of the Voices and the Strings comes forth and takes a main role with the electronic sound way in the background.
And of course the ending of the film brings in the Choir and the Byzantine style Psalm to magnify the apocalyptic and divine aspect of the story, and reflect the sweet elevation and the catharsis of the characters of the film.
What is the message of your project and who is your targeted audience? This project deals with powerful matters that we can no longer ignore. We have to acknowledge the climate change that could result in the complete destruction of the planet and that should be in everyone's mind. In a way this film is prophetic, and shows us how fragile we really are. Reminds us that we can't take anything for granted... The psychological analysis of the human nature, the human behavior under stress and fear, the battle for survival, is also a very interesting theme that this project deals with. What are our insticts and what motivates us when acting and reacting with one another under the kind of extreme conditions we see in this film. Targeted audience, all those that have a mind that works and thinks! Talk to us about your next film project.
My next project is a feature film, a creative documentary written and directed by Turkish director Berna Gencalp. "KIM MIHRI" (WHO IS MIHRI) combines live interviews, animation sequences, and archive footage to tell the extraordinary story of Mihri Rasim (1886-1954), the first female painter in Turkey that made a living as a professional painter. In the early 1900's she travelled in Rome and Paris for further education, and helped co-found the first Fine Arts School for Women in Turkey (1914). In the 1920's she moved to New York where she lived, worked, and exhibited her work. Painted portraits of prominent public figures, such as Ataturk, Roosvelt, Edison, and many more. She is of great inportance because she was a pioneer in her field and stood up for Women's Rights and equality in Fine Arts education in very challenging times. And even though she is a historical character, the story is quiet temporary because Mihri was a pioneering woman, an ambitious artist, and an immigrant.
The score blends Western (Jazz) and Eastern music, with the use of electronic sound but also of traditional eastern instruments like oud, santur, darbuca turca.
Tell us about the most fascinating thing about the language of cinema for you. Cinema is the only Art Form that combines all the other Art Forms in order to be created. Cinema is the Art of illusions, it makes you dream, and as Wim Wenders said: "Without dreams there can be no courage". Cinema makes you feel, hope, remember, learn, grow, move forward, evolve!