Les Rivieres


Be With Family member Kenny Dickenson's lovely score to French-Vietnamese artist Mai Hua's 2020 documentary film Les Rivières. If you enjoy the more minimal, intimate piano of the likes of Nils Frahm or John Carroll Kirby's solo work, you're certain to fall for this beautiful album. Taking six years to make, Mai's film explores what happened when she brought her dying grandmother to France, pulling together four generations of women from the same family. Kenny's score accompanies all the pretty things, sad things, dirty, beautiful, happy, broken and reborn moments of these women's experiences. The whole score is built around delicate, sparkling piano motifs. At times they're joined by cello and complemented with ambient chords and other flourishes. When it comes to describing the end results, Kenny's happy to wear his influences on his sleeve: "When the director and I sat down for the creative meetings early in the process, we watched Wolf Children, a Japanese animation film by Mamoru Hosoda. The amazing soundtrack by Masakatsu Takagi was a launching point for me and thereafter I leaned into more modern classical composers -- Reich, Sakamoto, Glass as well as Jon Hassell's Fourth World output. Richard Reed Parry's Music for Heart and Breath was a good early touchstone for me and Mark Hollis' sparse, considered and deliberate approach was a constant presence. Also labels like Ghostly, ASIP and the ubiquitous Erased Tapes should probably get a nod here too..." There's the occasional Yann Tiersen moment in there too. Out of sheer necessity the collaboration between Kenny and Mai continued beyond this initial creative direction. With Kenny speaking neither French nor Vietnamese, Mai acted as translator, a process that naturally led to discussing the film beyond just what was being said in the footage. Kenny composed much of the music in London, at the same time that Mai was shooting and editing. As the film took shape and the music also evolved, another challenge presented itself when Kenny relocated to Los Angeles part way through, resulting in Arnulf Lindners beautiful cello taking on new shapes- multi sampled, played and manipulated by Kenny into new compositions. The album also includes a new piece "Pour Marthe" that Kenny composed in memory of Mai's grandmother who died after the film was finished. Vinyl mastered by Simon Francis, cut by Pete Norman, and pressed at Record Industry. The sleeve follows the film's poster and other promotional material, including Lucile Gomez's illustration.