At Ballroom Marfa’s annual silent film program in 2013, harpist Mary Lattimore and guitarist (and synthesizer player) Jeff Zeigler first released their score for the French film Le Révélateur (1968). Philippe Garrel, the film’s director, supported screening it with every subsequent performance of Lattimore and Zeigler’s piece – the ultimate compliment, as Le Révélateur was supposed to stay a silent film.
Le Révélateur follows the life of a young boy as he transitions from an unhappy childhood to an even more unfortunate adulthood. The music conveys just as much beauty and tragedy as the film does, and acts as a conduit for emotion appropriate for each cinematic moment. However, the soundtrack is an experience even when listened to without the accompanying visuals. It creates a soundscape in which a listener can get lost and it conjures images behind the eyelids – the film isn’t completely necessary (though it is recommended). This album may be inspired by Le Révélateur, but it is Le Révélateur that has come to rely on this soundtrack. From the reception the score has received, it is clear that the film is a more profound experience when accompanied by Lattimore and Zeigler’s genius.
The soundtrack doesn’t leave any moment unintentionally colored. Every sweeping theme, every atmospheric pause – they are woven deliberately together. It is impossible to imagine this music any other way than the way it is, and with the addition of the film it would be entirely inappropriate even to consider it.
Since it’s reveal in 2013, Lattimore and Zeigler have performed in sold-out venues like the Getty Museum and Cinefamily in LA, Constellation Chicago and the International House in Philadelphia. Though they both have their own projects (Zeigler performs as Valley Exit and Lattimore is a classical harpist who has an impressive CV that includes high-profile collaborations, fellowships and stage appearances), it’s likely that this soundtrack will mark, if not the height of their collaborative career, then an incredibly memorable moment. The duo released their first album Slant of Light in 2014, and their next record will be released in 2017.