Wednesday 5 October 2016

Different Trains Every Time: celebrating 25 years of Parr Street Studios

Steve Reich
Steve Reich
You might not have heard of Parr Street Studios in Liverpool, but you almost certainly have heard music recorded there. The largest recording studio outside of London, it was once owned by Genesis and has seen everyone grace its doors from Echo & the Bunnymen, and The Lightning Seeds, to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. The studio is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and to celebrate is producing a series of 25 short documentaries. The first relates to Steve Reich's Different Trains, and is Rob Godfrey and Andrew Ellis's documentary (produced for Parr Street Studios) about making a recording for a performance of the work.

Filmaker Bill Morrison was commissioned to make a film to use at an open air performance of Different trains (the first time the work has had video accompaniment) which was presented by Metal Culture, and which took place at Edge Hill railway station (the UK's oldest functioning station), when the work was performed by members of the London Contemporary Orchestra. Different Trains uses a live string quartet alongside pre-recorded ones, so Parr Street Studios' documentary Different Trains Every Time looks at the making of the soundtrack needed for the performance, talking to those involved both performers (Robert Ames and other members of the London Contemporary Orchestra) and recording engineers.

The film Different Trains Every Time is available on YouTube and provides fascinating insight into Different Trains. There is also a discussion with Reich himself, which can be seen on the Boiler Room website.

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