After almost two decades of friendship and collaboration, Charles Watson and Paul Rafferty came together and embarked on recording a soundtrack for an imagined film adaptation of John Darnielle’s novel Wolf in White Van, a book they’d both fallen in love with upon its release. The sessions led to the formation of their film music composing project Dream Death and debut EP “Slowed Down Love Song”.
Whist Wolf in White Van comes highly recommended by the duo, it is not essential reading to enjoy the fruits of the project, however. On coming together they soon discovered there was an ease and effortlessness in their collaboration that warranted further investigation. Improvising and composing in tandem was akin to experiencing the same lucid dream, hunting for lost transmissions and capturing them before they disappeared into the ether forever. The music they made was drenched in drama and heartbreak, and seemed to describe perfectly the transition between waking and dream states. It felt like the soundtrack to a landscape that exists somewhere between life and death.
“When we listened back to the pieces it struck me that we’d made a kind of slowed down love song where the small moments between the big ones are brought into focus and celebrated” said Watson of the project.
Recorded at Rafferty’s Liverpool studio and Watson’s London home, the duo used guitars, synths, effects pedals, percussion and tape loops to achieve the grain-laden drones and emotive textures that you hear on the EP. Composing the music in a series of improvisations allowed the pair to gather a cache of raw material that Rafferty later sifted through and arranged into finished works.