music, noise, art | lucio menegon

Nightsoil, finally

The Overdub Club is proud to announce the completion of the HD video version of Nightsoil. We have worked long and hard to bring this former performance piece to a place where it can be screened. The premier is slated for Sept 30 at the The Exploratorium in San Francisco.

Nightsoil is a single channel video by filmmakers Thad Povey and Alfonso Alvarez with music by Lucio Menegon, collectively known as The Overdub Club. Derived from a triple projection, live performance piece, Nightsoil utilizes found footage that has been physically reconstituted using hand-processing, tinting, and other hands-on filmic techniques and features a powerful new audio score and soundtrack.

Nightsoil is a layered and evocative display of humanity’s ability to create both beauty and destruction, whose title echoes the archeologist investigating abandoned human latrines. Coming at a dramatic time in America’s history and created in the spirit of this zeitgeist, Nightsoil calls out with an appeal to “think what you’re doing” before choosing violence as a solution to humanity’s problems.

The music for Nightsoil was developed in a series of jam sessions where musicians Lucio Menegon and Mark De Gli Antoni improvised over a series of test reels and live presentations, mixing and matching sounds, manipulating and exploring audio textures – taking ideas from the morphing images and giving ideas back to the film-makers – until a dynamic three section composition coalesced. The move from the live presentation format presented a golden opportunity to re-compose and fully arrange and orchestrate the original score. Along with the musical contributions of John Hanes, Suki O’Kane, Jenya Chernoff, Rebecca Seeman, Jonathan Segel and Laurie Amat, a final soundtrack and score emerged that matches the intensity and emotion of the visuals – at times in syncopation with and at other times cutting against the multiple image presentation.

A Reverend, A Phantom and A Junkie

Reverend Screaming Fingers and Phantom Drummer

Reverend Screaming Fingers
& Phantom Drummer (Pat Spurgeon)

Composed and improvised instrumental music to juxtaposed found slide images and 16mm film prepared by San Francisco filmmaker Thad Povey.

The music – based around the electric guitar and drums and incorporating keyboards, loops and other devices – consisted of composed and structured improvisational pieces cued by film projections.

For our 15 date US tour in 2001, we setup facing each other with the projection screen between and slightly behind us. This enabled interaction with each other, the projections and the audience.

The overall effect was stunning – with no two shows the same. Musically, we were able to stretch out and explore our compositions and really try some cool stuff with the improv parts. The effect and importance of Thad’s visuals can’t be overemphasized – wild splashes of color from prepared film, flames, disasters, racecars, absurdities of the human psyche – they all came together to create some incredible synergistic moments from show to show.