Boomkat Product Review:
Deeper-than-deep field recordings, sub-aquatic drones and microtonal rhythmic flurries from veteran Aussie producer Aaron Cupples, composed exclusively for the award-winning hybrid documentary "Island of the Hungry Ghosts".
Cupples, who's worked with Spiritualized, Blanck Mass, Broken Social Scene and others, was eager to reflect the atmosphere of Gabrielle Brady's film. The hybrid documentary follows the journey of millions of migratory crabs on Christmas Island and juxtaposes this phenomenon with the trauma of asylum seekers in a detention facility on the island in an attempt to link the spiritual and physical realms and connect natural migration with the chaos of forced migration. To compliment this story, Cupples layered haunting field recordings - captured by sound recordist Leo Dolgan - with broad, affecting drones created with a hand-made instrument of Cupples' design.
Cupples wanted to give a voice to the island, so decided the central sound would be a stretched 13-foot long wire that could be bowed and oscillated electromagnetically. Eventually, he added other elements collected on the island: traditional Chinese festival drums, the chanting of Buddhist nuns recorded on the island and intricate environmental recordings. The result is a truly absorbing score, something that can be enjoyed whether you've managed to see the film or not. The release contains some of the most affecting field recordings we've heard in a minute ('Fire & Jungle', 'Blowholes') and Cupples' pristine drones give levity to pieces like 'The Understorey' and epic, orchestral closer 'Sand Return'.
Fans of Chris Watson, Richard Skelton, Deaf Center or François Tétaz's era-defining "Wolf Creek" soundtrack, you know what to do.