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Aug 4, 2015

In the second part of the interview with award-winning director, Mark Kirkland, he discusses his artistic life outside of his work for The Simpsons. He takes us inside his latest project, a silent film called The Moving Picture Company 1914. Mark wrote, directed, and produced the film (together with his wife, Letty), and shares his experiences of the film making process from the first conception of the idea through the final intricate editing and photography work that went into giving the film its silent era look.

Mark is also a clarinetist, and recorded the soundtrack for the film together with composer and pianist, Greg Kellogg. Mark tells the story of how he became inspired to take up the clarinet as a teenager, what it was like to go back to it as an adult student years later - and ultimately how he got talked into recording the largely improvised clarinet part of the silent film soundtrack. Mark played period clarinets from the early jazz era and immersed himself in early jazz recordings to capture the sound of the time. He takes us through each instrument in his arsenal - from metal clarinets to sirens and slide whistles - and shares clips of his playing from the soundtrack. Mark talks about how he envisioned his clarinet playing becoming a part of the film characters.