CMU Approved

Approved: Robin Richards – Liquidators

By | Published on Wednesday 28 September 2016

Robin Richards & Clara Casian

Dutch Uncles bassist Robin Richards moves into contemporary classical for his latest project, the soundtrack to a new documentary about the Chernobyl disaster, ‘Birdsong: Stories From Pripyat’.

Pripyat is the former city in Ukraine that was built to house those who worked at the Chernobyl nuclear power station a few miles away. Evacuated in the wake of the infamous Chernobyl explosion in 1986, the city – including a new amusement park that was opening just as the disaster occurred – now stands abandoned and derelict. Director Clara Casian and Richards travelled to Pripyat and the surrounding area to collect stories from local people, with the musician composing a 40 minute piece of music based on his experiences.

The first part of the soundtrack, titled ‘Liquidators’, has just been released, of which Richards says: “This section of music is inspired by the liquidators working on the Chernobyl nuclear plant after the disaster. The liquidators were civil and military personnel called upon by the Soviet Union in to clean, burn and bury contaminated areas and materials around the power plant”.

“The first part of this section is based on archival footage of the liquidators cleaning and digging in 1986, with the rhythmic jostling of the strings representing the movement of the workers, and the deep synthesisers representing the overriding radiation”, he continues. “The second part is inspired by the testimonies of four liquidators we interviewed in Borispol during our trip to Ukraine in May this year; their memories of the clean up and the years that followed the disaster”.

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl explosion, the film will be premiered this week with the score performed live at Home in Manchester on 30 Sep, followed by more live-scored screenings at Stockport Plaza (6 Oct) and the University Of Salford’s Peel Hall on 7 Oct.

Listen to ‘Liquidators’ here:

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