Images and surfaces: Le Retour A ‘la Raison by Teho Teardo, Specula, 2015 on #neuguitars #blog


“This album is about a unique meeting with Man Ray. Unique because silent films directors are all dead!“

Flashback. We are in 2015. We took a step back and are listening to this CD, Le Retour A ‘la Raison by Teho Teardo.

What is kinematic music? David Shea defines it this way in his essay “A fragment”: “The term kinematic music is useful for referring to pieces that create a filmic sound independent of the image but connected to specific images or external references, unlike the pieces therefore themed or from film soundtracks separated from the visual medium. * “

It’s an interesting and at the same time extensive definition, large enough to be able to incorporate different shapes and styles.


I chose it because it seems to me a fitting definition with the music proposed in this CD by Teho Teardo, dedicated to the movies of Man Ray, as Teardo himself was very precise in indicating how: “This record it’s not a soundtrack, you can’t make a soundtrack for those movies, Man Ray hates soundtracks to the point he could easily kill you with his famous nailed flatiron.”


What can be the external references that Teardo used to create connections between sounds, music and images? Rebuilding these connections requires intense and complex work. I watched some of the Man Ray indicated on this record. I had never seen them before and so I should be grateful for this record. They are primitive, there is no plot, it doesn’t seem to be an organization. BUT, the pictures. They are dense, strong, intense. But also sad, laconic. True. Is it possible that Teardo wanted to create a musical path parallel to it? As if to say: I can’t operate in canonical stylistic terms, I can’t invent a “standard” soundtrack, I have to act with a completely different aesthetic vision, I have to reverse the perspectives. What if …. and if I tried to create a sound structure different from a soundtrack, physically “reconstructing” those films with the sounds, with the noises, with the guitars of my studio? Perhaps drawing on my previous experiences, of course, on my reading, on my aesthetic experience, but with one goal only: to be “true” too, to be sincere.

I tried to watch those movies in silence, then I added Teardo’s music. They change. It’s impressive but the sensations, the emotions provoked by those movies change. A sort of emotional overlap is created between the images and the music. An aesthetic short circuit between what you hear and see that is extremely functional and that fascinates. Too bad I wasn’t at Villa Manin on those two evenings in December 2014. They must have been very intense.

* Panta musica by Enrico Ghezzi, Bompiani, 1996 pag. 329