Fulll Firearms is a vinyl LP featuring music from the film of the same title by the British artist Emily Wardill, which celebrates its German debut with an extensive solo exhibition curated by Anja Casser at Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (January–April 2012). The soundtrack, which preexisted the final film, was originally commissioned by LUX for the project 'Thinking Through Cinema (Deep Red)' at the Artissima art fair in Turin in 2010.
The film is an exploration of the narrative structures of melodrama and the conflict constellations of psychodrama following the real story and popular myths around Sarah Winchesters Mystery House in San Jose, CA. Fulll Firearms is about guilt and ghosts, instability, paranoia and loss of reality. The soundtrack is heavily inspired by the 1970s thriller and horror movie soundtracks by the Italian prog rock band Goblin. And yet Wardill’s music stands on its own. The artist-composer takes sometimes poetic, sometimes definite, roughly sketched stylistic elements from the Goblin repertoire: church choirs, pseudo-baroque piano phrases, prog-rock keyboards, eerie suggestive sound effects, and suspense-genre dramaturgy. The music seems to complete the action and acoustic imagery of the film, but as a matter of fact only about 10 seconds of the music –directed by Emily Wardill and transcribed by composer Marc Shearer– made it to the final cut of the film. The soundtrack is to be understood literally as music for, not from, the film. The music was finished before a single scene was shot and served Wardill – along with workshops with actors and friends – as a source of inspiration for the development of characters and screenplay. The music for Fulll Firearms is a sort of sonic mood board, an original foundation for her film project.
Wardill’s cover concept reproduces Fulll Firearms as an anonymous and obscure cinematic experience, as it conveys in her experimental psychodrama: The outside gatefold sleeve and the label of the vinyl record are completely black, the tracks have no titles, the most necessary remaining information (artist, album title) can only be found in the vinyl’s groove message. But as you open the gatefold album you find yourself face to face with a glamorous cinematic 16:9 contour of singing Imelda, the delusional ghost ridden protagonist of Wardill’s film, played by French actress Catherine Schaub-Abkarian, wearing a glorious black fez, enormous oversize golden creoles and necklaces, the dark felt hat itself decorated with a brooch repeating the conture-fez-and-gold imagery. Amidst the darkness this is opulent: and the film in the head of the listener can begin ... (Olaf Karnik)
Published as part of the exhibition Emily Wardill - Fulll Firearms, Badischer Kunstverein, January - April 2012. Music by Marc Shearer directed by Emily Wardill. Mastered by Nicholas Bussmann.
Cover concept by Emily Wardill. Still photo taken from “Fulll Firearms”, 2011.