Translation: Ran Blake – A Man in Black

Ran Blake @ Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society Half Moon Bay CA 6/14/1987

I’ve just finished a translation of ‘Ran Blake – Un Homme En Noir’. It’s a comprehensive study by expert French music critic, P. L. Renou. The article focuses on American pianist, composer, and educator Ran Blake, and the central relationship between his music and ‘film noir’.

Here’s an extract:

Students of the relationship between jazz and film and, more broadly, that between music and the seventh art, have often overlooked someone who ought to occupy a unique place. You can’t really blame them : Ran Blake never worked in film. And for a good reason, one could add: his music is film, right through. And, when you look at it explicitly, it’s film noir.

Ran Blake was born in 1935. Aged 10 or 12, and already frequenting darkened cinemas, he discovered Robert Siodmak’s film The Spiral Staircase (Deux mains, La Nuit, 1945).

“After having seen it more than 18 times in 20 days, the intrigue, the scenes, the melodies and the musical atmosphere of the film began to blend into my daily life and into my dreams so as to merge with them”.

This pivotal experience made a definitive mark on his mind and very soon on his music, which, from his first recording in 1961, started out on a remarkable path. The taste that Ran Blake developed for cinema in general, and film noir in particular, is clearly evident in his discography.

If you need translation services (French to English), then please contact me.

And if you’re interested in finding out more about Ran Blake, visit his official website.

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