Music For The Films Of Peter Mullan, is a new digital release by Craig Armstrong on his own imprint CMA Records.
Craig Armstrong and Peter Mullan first met in the 1980’s at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow. Michael Boyd (Royal Shakespeare Company Director 2002 – 2012) was the artistic director at the time and together they collaborated on productions such as Losing Alec and Macbeth. Peter Mullan began making his first short films after this period and as he knew Craig Armstrong from this theatre time he was an obvious choice to ask to score these shorts. Recalling this time at a recent talk at Edinburgh Film Festival, Craig Armstrong said he told Peter he would do these short film scores as long as he promised to hire him for his first feature film!
By the time Peter Mullan came to create Orphans (1998), Craig Armstrong was now completing work on Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which he went on to win an Ivor Novello and Bafta for original score. Since then Craig Armstrong has written the scores for the next of Peter Mullan’s feature films; the Venice Film Festival winner The Magdalene Sisters (2002) and Neds (2010). From their experience in the Tron Theatre both learning their crafts from this young age means they now have a short hand in how they work together, an understanding based on their history creatively and also from both living in Glasgow.
It’s a special album featuring performances from the Scottish Ensemble’s extraordinary cellist Alison Lawrance, another long term collaborator for Armstrong on his solo albums and film work. Alison Lawrance performs with such grace and lament on the track John Leaves Home from Neds and on John’s Theme she creates somehow and beautifully a hopeful expression of isolation.
We are left with a giddy and haunting goodbye from the actor Gary Lewis from Good Day For The Bad Guys. The scores for Close and Fridge even at this early stage in Armstrong’s career show his trademark ability to compose to the core of the emotion he is seeing on screen. These tracks do not age despite their date and to have this collection in one place is a special listening experience and a great nod to both these extremely talented Scottish artists.
The album cover image is a shot from a Glasgow session by the photographer Martina Ivanov Hoogland, with design by International Magic.