The Amber Light Playlist
At one point in our film, the harpist Rachel Newton talks of songs being ‘given’ from person to person, as a way of passing them on: not learned or taught, but gifted. It’s a lovely phrase and a lovely thought, and hearing a new song or a new piece music really can feel like receiving a wonderful gift.
So it’s with that in mind that I have put together this selection of music. It’s not an exhaustive list - most of the contemporary artists featured have literally hundreds of albums between them (Scots are a productive bunch), and Spotify has its own limits - but every track has played a role in developing the sound of The Amber Light, through the performances within the film or through the film’s score (or was simply on repeat during development or production so no doubt managed to seep its way into the psyche).
Getting the sound of this film right was ultimately as important as how it looks. And if the sound does succeed, then that success really lies in the marriage of these elements. Images only really take on their full meaning when you can hear them as well - hence, the power of cinema. In our wee film there’s a bit of nostalgia, sure, an eye looking back, but there’s also very much a forward-looking gaze too. And that’s not just in the mix of songs on this playlist but also reflected by the artists themselves.
That’s why there’s Ali Roberts alongside Popol Vuh [side note: listen to Popol Vuh's music for Aguirrre, the Wrath of God driving through the Cairngorms between the ski school and Braemar and that’s about as spiritual experience as you can imagine]. It’s why you’ll hear James Yorkston bump up next to Alessandro Cortini. You’ll hear an amazing array of musicians that I feel incredibly lucky to have heard and grown familiar with along the journey.
Credit must really go to all these artists, to Dave B, Owen Pratt and Stephen Marshall for introducing me to new music, and to Christoph Bauschinger and Owen for pulling it all together in such a brilliant way.
Hope you enjoy listening!