Music is a catalyst for all things. It is a quintessential and necessary piece to film. It gives life to the emotions painted by the images on the big screen. Movies and scores have become dependent on one another. Their ability to affect rests in their marriage.
Songwriter Matt Pond, normally an indie-rock creative, wanted to push his limits, experiment and do something different, like writing an instrumental song for a movie, even if the movie was only two-minutes long and in his head.
“Chris Hansen and I wrote “Half Moon Valley” for an unwritten movie that could exist within the length of a trailer,” Pond told American Songwriter. “We thought of The Search, looking out over the desert or across the water. We gave Director Nikki Mitha the music without any suggestions. Yet without saying anything, she could hear this longing in the music and brilliantly expand the scope of the concept. It is crazy that these subconscious thoughts can connect through music and film. That’s the whole point of An Orchestrated Impulse- then again, we’re lucky to know such profound people.”
“Half Moon Valley” is a contemplative and reflective, instrumental song, like something you would hear on a soundtrack from a Sundance film. There is a generic feeling and narrative portrayed from the music, but without lyrics to guide, the full narrative never comes full circle, but that’s how it was intended. The brief two-minute track is heavy on strings and ambient samples and has a youthful attitude to it.
The video portrays a young woman, seemingly troubled by something, though it is never disclosed as what. The video is shot in scenes, often jumping from one to a completely different one in time and setting. The woman in the video, is shown in several different situations. First, she is laying down, appearing anxious, worrisome. It then cuts to her in a bathing suit looking outside with a pair of binoculars, peering at what appears to be orange smoke on the horizon. Then she is shown naked behind a bouquet of roses, arranging plants and flowerpots, then ends with her sitting on a lake dock, greeted by an unknown person.
Mitha said, “The music feels searching to me. A woman looking – what is she looking for? She’s surrounded by water, but the sky is on fire and the plants are dying. Something is wrong. A beautiful woman, a double, glimpsed out on the lake and in dreams, seems important. What does she know? Our heroine seeks out the mysterious other to ask. I was thinking a lot about the Australia fires, climate change, and the line between self-inquiry and self-obsession/avoidance.”
After Mitha’s explanation, the viewer can start to piece things together, still uncertain of the full story, but things start to make sense and associations, resemblances are revealed.
This is certainly a long shot from Pond’s previous work as a rock-indie artist, but An Orchestrated impulse pushes the bounds for him as a musician and shows his true spanning abilities as an artist and as a songwriter.