Kirchin, Basil: I Start Counting LP
Sublime unreleased score for the weird cult/brutalist thriller I Start Counting! (1970). Charming, odd, and affecting score by Basil Kirchin, made "in association" with his regular cohorts, Jack Nathan and John A. Coleman. The film was directed by the multi-talented and quite radical David Greene. Greene was also an actor, a successful producer and had already employed the services of Kirchin for his 1967 horror The Shuttered Room and quirky crime thriller The Strange Affair (1968). I Start Counting!, notably starred a 14-year-old Jenny Agutter, is set in brutalist Bracknell, with Agutter's character living in Royal Point, a classic "threepenny bit" of a 1960s tower block. When she ventures away from the safety of this concrete castle on an obsessive, erotically charged journey, her world is turned upside down. As macabre, coming-of-age thriller, the score for I Start Counting! allowed Kirchin to explore more dark edges of film music and composition: as a score, it bubbles along with lots of classic Kirchin hallmarks, but here you are also treated to a beguiling opening song that is lyrically and musically developed and then slowly pulled apart over sequential cues. There is also an unusual Eastern tinge to some of the percussion and Kirchin's distinctive pastoral oddness is here too. His sonic jumps between low drama and high tension are extraordinary, and his use of free jazz to bring about unease is both perfectly simple and effective. Basil's original idea for the opening song was to have it sung by Cilla Black or Jenny Agutter, but in the end Lindsay Moore, the daughter of jazz chum Barbara Moore stepped in. The score is mighty fine but a little short, so included here is more unreleased soundtrack material from the Kirchin archive -- a tape labeled "Third World Documentary". This dates from the early 1980s and was produced for either TV or a festival and musically complements the first score well, even though they are two decades apart. The names of the musicians working here died with Basil, but the drummer for I Start Counting! may well have been Clem Cattini, Evan Parker was more than likely involved with the session, and possibly Derek Bailey too. As for the later recording, there is a distinctive modern "Fairview" sound to the cues and production. Mastered and sequenced by Jon Brooks, AKA The Advisory Circle.