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British Electronica Trio Haiku Salut Release Alternative Soundtrack to Spirited Away

British Electronica Trio Haiku Salut Release Alternative Soundtrack to Spirited Away
Ross Liversidge
Written by Ross Liversidge on 09 Jun 2020

Ross founded the UK Anime Network waaay back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world in his spare time.

Something different and creative today - a British trio called Haiku Salut has released an alternative electronica soundtrack designed to be played alongside Spirited Away, currently streaming on Netlfix.

The score comprises 35 tracks from the band's previous albums, plus a new song composed for this project. The band has created a blog to demonstrate how to synchronise the soundtrack which you can view here.

The band have released their alternative soundtrack as an EP entitled Songs For Chihiro, and a Spotify playlist entitled Spirited Away: An Alternative Soundtrack

From the Press Release:

“The seeds of this idea was gifted to us in a tweet sent five years ago by our friend Steven Battelle, who said ‘Your music takes me to the exact same place as Ghibli’,” explains Haiku Salut’s Sophie Barkerwood. “We’re all big fans of Studio Ghibli, and this was a huge compliment. I can’t put into words how these films make me feel exactly…a mixture of the magical quietness, the subtlety of the dialogue, the weirdness, yet mainly just the simple beauty of it all leaves me with a feeling I can’t quite pinpoint.”

Haiku Salt

“With no inroad or way of exploring the possibilities of our music and a Ghibli film at the time, the idea was put away, hiding from view for a while,” continues Sophie. “It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, with the time that lockdown has given us, that we realised that we might be able to try to intertwine the two in some way.”

After the trio hosted a watch party for their acclaimed 2019 score of Buster Keaton’s The General, they started to think about a Haiku Salut soundtrack for Spirited Away.

“Initially there were ideas to do a new score entirely,” says Sophie. “We started to sequence our back catalogue to the film to see how this might work. Then small coincidences started appearing. Tiny synchronicities. When we began, the film and our music were entirely separate entities but as we pieced more and more of it together they somehow came to be meaningfully related. It felt strange and exciting.”

“It feels brave to present our music as a pairing to something as untouchable as Ghibli and Spirited Away,” says Sophie. “But these are weird times, and if you can’t do weird things in weird times when can you do them?
ABOUT HAIKU SALUT: British electronica trio Haiku Salut have released four albums to date, including a new score for Buster Keaton’s 1926 silent comedy The General. The trio consists of multi-instrumentalists Gemma Barkerwood, Sophie Barkerwood and Louise Croft. Between them, Haiku Salut play accordion, piano, glockenspiel, trumpet, trombone, guitar, ukulele, drums, malletkat, synth and melodica. Their music blends electronica and organic instrumentation.

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