Album review: In The Nursery – The Seashell and the Clergyman

As some regular readers might know, I’ve been a fan of In The Nursery for quite some time.

I’m not sure when I first saw them perform, but it was most likely sometime in the Eighties, upstairs in the Hallamshire or perhaps in Bar One at Sheffield University, and they have been working, recording and performing in Sheffield ever since.

Their sound has progressed and developed since then, and one more recent strand to their work is, of course, film soundtracks. For their latest project they have chosen to compose music for The Seashell and The Clergyman, which is widely regarded as the first ever surrealist film.

It was made by Germaime Dulac in 1928, and ITN providing a new soundtrack will also deliver an opportunity to see this rarely screened classic on the big screen. It’s a sad reflection on modern cinema that innovative films like this now have a limited audience.

On its release, it caused a small riot, and the critical response has ranged from the misinformed to the rapturous ever since. Klive and Nigel’s soundtrack forms a powerful backdrop to the visuals of the film.

They have used some experimental recording techniques, including placing Electret microphones inside, what else, but, a pair of seashells, as they sculpt and weave a sonic backdrop to the film. It is one of the most compelling soundtracks I’ve heard from them, and makes me look forward even more to seeing a performance alongside the film

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