These tracks were recorded in August and September 2002 in NYC for the documentary film Born in a Barn, directed by Elizabeth Elson. It is an electronic film score, recorded in my studio in my East Village fifth floor walkup. This was my second feature-length film score project.
My recollection is this project was done entirely with hardware electronics, no VSTs or soft synths at all. My equipment included Roland and E-mu synthesizers; my 808, with MIDI; the signature delay sound (which thins as it repeats) was carefully crafted on an Eventide H949 Harmonizer. It was computer sequenced in Logic; some instruments (Jupiter 6, SH-1000, the acoustic guitar on track 20 “Pony Play”) were recorded to hard disk, played back from computer, I believe, via a Digidesign Audiomedia II card. It was all mixed through an analog console to DAT.
You can see the studio and its equipment list here:
Elizabeth and I wanted to keep the music atmospheric, and to keep the depictions of ponyplay light and playful, rather than a dark BDSM cliché. The film was temped with and informed by Boards of Canada. Listening to it now, I can hear that influence, but I also hear my own interest in counterpoint – interweaving lines that permeate the score and give it a musical detail that expands and embellishes the ambient qualities. There are some playful synth electronic renditions of pony sounds. I recorded cues that were scored to picture, as well as tracks that could be edited to picture later in post.
Director Elizabeth Elson describes the film:
An intimate and occasionally humorous look into the extraordinary erotic lives of four seemingly ordinary people, BORN IN A BARN takes us deep into the world of ponyplay, a fetish in which enthusiasts role-play as human ponies and handlers. Revealing the complex motives that drive each character to pursue this unusual passion and following them as they each confront the questions that being an erotic equine present, BORN IN A BARN is a film about finding an identity in the pursuit of an unconventional desire.
The documentary went through several incarnations, at one point a 70-minute feature, hence the amount of music composed for it. On October 11, 2003, a teaser excerpt played as a short at Cinekink NYC at Anthology Film Archives. The next year, a full version played its world premiere on October 23, 2004 at Cinekink NYC Film Festival at Anthology Film Archives. It won Best Documentary Feature, Cinekink 2004.
The film was cut down to an authoritative, final version of 51 minutes. In April 2005 it won Best Documentary Feature at the 2005 Sin Cine Film Festival in NYC. Other notable festival screenings include: Big Muddy Film Festival (Carbondale, IL, Feb 2005); San Francisco Independent Film Festival (Feb 2005); Frameline29 (San Francisco, June 2005); Lausanne Underground Film and Music Festival (Switzerland, October 2005); Pacific Film Archive Festival (Berkeley CA, Feb 2006); Melbourne Queer Film Festival (March 2006); Pioneer Theater and Cinekink (NYC, September 2007). The film was released on DVD by Three Graces Films; it is out of print.
released January 26, 2024
All tracks by Jack Curtis Dubowsky
Composed, arranged, and produced by Jack Curtis Dubowsky.
Jack Curtis Dubowsky: Instruments, electronics, keyboards