(British) Sea Power announce ‘Man Of Aran’ soundtrack on vinyl (for the first time!)
In 2009, Brighton band (British) Sea Power marked the 75th anniversary of the movie ‘Man Of Aran’ (1934) with a bang. Initially commissioned for the Edinburgh film festival, the band bought forward what became a mesmerizing and ambitious soundtrack, governed by their influences in post rock and classical music. Upon it’s critically acclaimed release the group performed at screenings that took place in cinemas across the UK. John Doran’s great paper The Quietus described it as a “perfect symbiosis that should rightly be regarded as something of an understated classic” , Ireland’s Hot Press called it “Stunning… breath-taking” , and the NME encouraged listeners to “let it all gloriously wash over you.” It was really a turning point for the band, depicting their artistic diversity as a unit.
To quote the comprehensive press release for any newcomers , the movie charts “the activities of fisherman based on a remote outcrop in mouth of Galway Bay in western Ireland, Man Of Aran captured a disappearing way of life as Aran’s inhabitants battled daily against the elements to survive, something that chimed deeply with Sea Power’s own curiosity for the past and their urgent, environmentally-driven concerns for the future. The film is a powerful and provocative dramatised documentary from the late American filmmaker Robert J Flaherty. The film was both celebrated and controversial on its release. The film was created from half a million feet of film shot by Flaherty while living closely with the islanders. But Man Of Aran isn’t a straightforward documentary. The ‘family’ at the centre of the film weren’t related, rather a group of islanders cast as the family unit by Flaherty. The fishing expedition for basking sharks which forms the film’s dramatic heart was based around methods that hadn’t been employed on the Aran Islands for decades. Blending reality and staged elements, Flaherty arrived at a compelling document that captures the elemental power of the island’s past and present. The film won the Grand Prix at the 1935 Venice Film Festival and the eminent film critic Pauline Kael described it as, “The greatest film tribute to man’s struggle against a hostile nature.”
Now, for the first time, the soundtrack is available on vinyl record format, which will be released on the 25th August 2023 and can be pre ordered here .