The Music

The key musical score of the film is diegetic, a decision that Ben felt very passionately about from the very beginning. As Provenance is a film about a pianist who has turned his back on his career, it seemed appropriate that the music is only experienced through John Finch's memory and playing.

All of the pieces were chosen by Christian McKay who, as a classically trained pianist who studied at the Royal College of Music, had a very clear idea of the pieces that were appropriate for both the location and the themes of the film. He also performed all of the pieces himself on set.

While we were fortunate to have secured a wonderfully equipped venue for the central concert sequence in Sevenoaks, the somewhat rickety piano at the location in Entrecasteaux detracted a little from Christian's beautiful playing and it became clear as post production went on that we would have to re-record all of Christian's musical performances at the house. The task was made even harder when it became apparent that scheduling conflicts meant that Christian would be unavailable for the session.

After a slightly panicked week, serendipity brought Ana Šinkovec into our lives. Ana is a world-famous concert pianist whose impressive technical talent was matched by her extraordinary sensitivity not only to the music but to the mood of the original recording.

Ben would explain what the background was to each particular moment and talk through John's emotional state at that point in the film - delving deep into the character's backstory. After watching clips from the film, Ana was then able to match the performance, both technically and emotionally, to such a degree that Helen Miles was able to lay the session on top of the film with barely any edits.

Through Ana the team were also introduced to Paula Muldoon and Victoria Simonsen who were both able to come in a week later and record the Faure Piano Trio in D Minor. The day of the session was the first time the three had played the piece together and the results are absolutely stunning.

The music was recorded at Renaissance Studios - a recording studio in North London owned by musician and composer Paul Handley. Without his invaluable help, advice and expertise (and his ability to translate Ben's terrible musical direction to the three world-class musicians) along with the brilliant recording abilities of Helen Miles, this crucial part of Provenance would not have been the success that it is.