Crossroads - Feature Documentary
Earlier this year I worked on my second documentary about the Sewol ferry disaster, this time a feature length called Crossroads. Crossroads explores the social and political movements that were catalysed by the disaster, interspersed with powerful monologues by survivors and their relatives.
I was responsible for the soundtrack and sound design, with some of the music made in collaboration with Jesse Woolston.
Thanks to Neil and Han for bringing me onto the team and trusting me completely with the sound and music, to Jesse for his support with the soundtrack, and most of all to the people involved in the disaster for sharing their stories.
Crossroads is available now on Vimeo.
This Pale Fire - Alchemy (Album Production)
Before making instrumental music I began as a songwriter, so I was thrilled when This Pale Fire asked me to produce a song of his last year. One song turned into two, three, and eventually became his first full length album Alchemy.
I couldn't be more proud of him for crafting such a beautiful and emotionally powerful collection of songs. It was a true pleasure to work on this album.
Listen to Alchemy here - http://hyperurl.co/2t22mx
Affinity - Full-length Album
When I began this project I was a university student, working every night and every weekend to develop the early ideas that I had for an album. Four years later, after a long process of writing and development, I have finally released the full-length album that I dreamed of making.
- These years came to be
- And she translated into the sky
- For other days
- Closely kept
- Something still
- Since last letters
- What will become of us
- As we fall into static
- Empty calls quiet
- In the dust of a motion
There are also a very limited run of cassette tapes available through Bandcamp, made exquisitely by Prison Tapes.
Since Last Letters - Single Release
Since Last Letters, the first single from my upcoming album Affinity, is out today. Accompanying the release is this stunning video by Nils Clauss.
Places like Leh are often represented internationally in a very limited way, so in this video we strove to create a more authentic insight into the region. It was important to work with the locals featured to gain a glimpse into the place and the lives lived within - their routines, culture, customs, struggles and laughter.
Last Letters - Short Documentary
A journey through loss, space and memory. The film commemorates the victims of the tragic Sewol ferry accident, in which 304 out of 476 passengers and crew members died in 2014.
On the 16th of April 2014 a ferry en route from Incheon to Jeju Island in Korea capsized. 304 out of 476 passengers and crew members died in this tragic accident. This short film follows eight families that lost loved ones that day, and explores the physical and emotional spaces that the tragedy left behind. The film juxtaposes documentary and fictional elements. It shines a light on this still unsolved tragedy and shows the isolation the families feel while they pose for an incomplete family portrait.
I once again collaborated with filmmaker Nils Clauss to create this utterly heartbreaking and beautiful documentary.
The film features a new piece of mine named Since Last Letters.
5/8 EP with Suren Unka - Release
My first proper collaboration was released today, a four-track EP named 5/8, made with electronic producer and friend Suren Unka.
We also performed the EP live in studio complete with drums, a beautiful piano, and analogue synths.
Thanks for listening.
5/8 - Collaborative EP with Suren Unka - Announcement
Suren Unka is an electronic music producer and an old friend of mine. We've been talking about making something together for years and 5/8 is the result of that.
"Electronic meets modern classical composition on Auckland-based artists Suren Unka and Levi Patel’s debut collaborative EP 5/8, due out 5 August on Marigold Music. The unlikely allies effortlessly blend dance producer Suren’s swirling rhythms and electronic sound design with composer Levi’s slow moving harmonies and delicate textures to create a dynamic ambient house record. Residing at opposing ends of the musical spectrum, the two musicians manage to strike an intoxicating and unique balance between their home-base genres."
In the video below we discuss the music and a live studio performance of the EP that we filmed last month.
This Island is Ours - Feature Documentary
Over the last two months I have been deeply immersed in This Island is Ours as the sound editor, sound mixer, and music composer.
"The territorial dispute between Japan and Korea over the ownership of Dokdo/Takeshima islets is one of the major stumbling blocks in bilateral relations. The dispute however is not limited to state to state relations as in both countries there are citizens' groups actively engaged in protesting, lobbying and educating the public. Who are these people however? What do they do in their everyday life? What motivates them to engage in this kind of activism? How do they see the other side? The usually sensational media coverage of their activities does not answer these questions. This documentary offers some answers by providing the individual activists on both sides with a platform to talk about themselves, their activism and their views of the other country and people."
Once again I worked with Nils Clauss, and this time also alongside Alexander Bukh. Alexander is a scholar of international relations of Northeast Asia. They are currently submitting the film to festivals and plan to release it on Vimeo next year.
I would like to thank Glen Cleaver at BigPop Music for his crash course in film sound and for help when I needed it most.
Since Last Letters - Music Video in the Making
In August I was awarded funding by NZ On Air to create a music video for Since Last Letters, a track from my upcoming album, and I can hardly believe it.
I've enlisted the help of Nils Clauss, a German filmmaker based in Seoul, Korea. Nils and I met while working together on the UIC promotional video below. He has an aesthetic and creative approach that I love and that I feel is a good match for my own.
For this project we're casting our preconceptions about music video content aside and seeing where it leads us.
Full-length Album - In Progress
Last night I recorded the most beautiful piano I have ever played, a newly restored Bechstein concert grand at the Leigh Sawmill Café.
I haven't said too much about it before but I've been working on a full length album over the last year or so and this marked the final recording session. There's still a lot of work to be done with mixing and release planning but I'm dedicating all of my time to this at the moment and really hope to make it something special.
Of Sleep and Time - Release
'Of Sleep and Time', a short collection of piano and string music, is available now at levipatel.bandcamp.com
You have all been so kind, I truly hope that you enjoy this music as I do.
Of Sleep and Time - A Series of Piano and String Works
Late last year I took some time away from my usual style of production to write a short series of piano and string pieces named 'Of Sleep and Time'. I traveled away from home to a small coastal town to record a beautiful piano I discovered, along with touches of bird song and rain.
My close friend Chris Park (and cellist on these tracks) accompanied me on a trip to Wellington for the mastering session with Mike Gibson and took some video on the day. Take a look inside the dimly lit but beautiful studio and hear a sample of the opening track 'As she passes'.
I will be releasing 'Of Sleep and Time' for free on February 18th.
A Strangely Isolated Place - Reflection on 2014 Mix
Ryan at A Strangely Isolated Place put together a beautiful and thoughtful end of year mix featuring the likes of A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Jon Hopkins, Otto A.Totland, Loscil, and he was kind enough to open the mix with The Light Unbalances Her from Forms.
"As with last year’s episode, the mix covers the genres we love here, including modern-classical, ambient, dub-techno, electronica and post-rock. So yes, be ready for twists and turns – unlike your more considered and conventional mix techniques."
The mix can be streamed and downloaded for free at astrangelyisolatedplace.com
UIC Promotional Video
I worked with two talented filmmakers on their video for Underwood International College, a part of Yonsei University in Korea. I was responsible for the soundtrack.
I only finished university last month but this makes me want to sign up for round two.