‘Another thing I came to realise when I had to spend a few years really lost in my film and unable to practise music, is that when singing, because the breath is really focussed and controlled over a period, it has a meditative, almost yogic quality that is incredibly good for health and mind.’
Simon Barker has long been one of my favourite Australian drummers. Rest assured, he would have earned that place on the strength of his drumming in Mark Simmonds’ Freeboppers alone, without consideration of the extraordinary body of work he has produced since. For me, the Freeboppers’ album Fire (1993) remains one of the cornerstones of Australian jazz: four musicians – Simmonds, Scott Tinkler, Steve Elphick, and Barker – interlocking with a ferocious and burning intensity, their music exploding like a supernova.
The story of Emma Franz’s debut film follows jazz drummer Simon Barker’s journey and describes his fascination with, and search for, the music of South Korean Shaman drummer Kim Seok-Chul, the Intangible [cultural] Asset No. 82 of the film’s title.