Artist News Releases

Robin Richards releases track from new film project, The Earth Asleep

By | Published on Thursday 19 March 2020

Robin Richards

Visual artist Clara Casian and composer Robin Richards have launched a new film project titled ‘The Earth Asleep’.

The project began when Casian and Richards travelled to the village of Otsuchi in north-east Japan to speak to residents about their memories of the 2011 tsunami that killed over 10,000 people in the area and how they are rebuilding their lives and community. The resulting film, says the blurb, aims to assess “the ways in which our exposure to extreme live-trauma in the form of rolling news and citizen reportage has resulted in an inability to process grief at a manageable, human scale”.

The project’s premiere was due to take place in April, but has now been pushed back to next year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. However, Richards has released a track from it, titled ‘Haga’ – named after one of the people he and Casian met during their time in Japan – featuring Chris Illingworth of GoGo Penguin on piano and Michael Spearman of Everything Everything on drums.

“We interviewed several people in the town who told us about their different spiritual methods of dealing with grief and loss following the disaster, and their stories form the narrative threads of the film”, says Richards. “Masahiko Haga explained to us that the spirits return to heaven when the fire goes out”.

“The evening spent with Haga was an extremely powerful and moving experience, and Clara and I knew instantly that it would be an integral part of the film and score”, he goes on. “The xylophone melody heard in ‘Haga’ is taken from the Otsuchi neighbourhood music – a melody played over the loudspeakers used for earthquake and tsunami warning, heard every few hours across the whole town”.

Watch the video for ‘Haga’ here: