It is not often that a theorbo player has the opportunity to premiere a contemporary piece of music that was originally composed for their instrument. However, in 2018, Estonian composer Ardo Ran Varres wrote the soundtrack for the movie “Self Made Cameraman,” directed by Hardi Volmer, and decided to incorporate the theorbo into certain sections of the music. The 3-minute prelude, which is featured in the movie and also played in its entirety under the credits, accompanies a female character who ultimately dies.
The piece works well on its own and can be enjoyed without the accompanying visuals. However, the composer decided to shoot a dedicated video for this piece to share it separately from the film. This little concert scene was directed by Urmas Reisberg.
It was a great pleasure for the theorbo player to be a part of this project, and I would like to extend my thanks to both the composer and director for the opportunity. The audio for the film was recorded by the composer Ardo-Ran Varres and the little concert movie was produced by Plankfilm. This is a unique and memorable experience for any musician, and it is always exciting to see the theorbo being utilized in contemporary compositions.
Since the premier of the full film and this video, I have included this little piece in my concert programs. Over time I have arranged it to other instruments I play: there’s a version for classical guitar that you can hear on this CD, a duo version for baroque guitar and viola da gamba, and an arrangement for lute in D.
Apart from the arrangements for different instruments, there are two musically distinct versions of this prelude. The original version starts in minor, but as per the demand of the movie director, it was later redone in major. I personally prefer the minor version and that’s what I have been playing in my concerts. Should anyone be interested in the sheet music of the piece, feel free to contact me.