Live soundtrack sails to The Wedge

Leonard (left) and Slava Grigoryan are headed for Sale. Image: Contributed

Filmgoers and music-lovers alike will be spellbound when the Grigoryan Brothers land Portside later this month.

The song-writing brothers will be present for the screening of A Boy Called Sailboat at The Wedge, where they will provide a live accompaniment of the acoustic soundtrack – the very same one they composed.

According to younger brother Leonard, the pair became involved in the film through director Cameron Nugent and producer Andrew Curry.

“They got in touch with us quite a number of years ago, and they had this idea (for a film) and we kind of thought, ‘oh, this sounds great! Yeah, we’re definitely happy to write some music and contribute (however) we can’,” Leonard said.

After recording demos for the soundtrack, the brothers didn’t hear from Nugent nor Curry “for about a year”.

“And in the meantime, we kind of thought ‘oh, the movie’s probably not happening anymore,’ and then we’d hear from them and they’d be like ‘yeah, it’s all happening …’

“Then another year would go by and we wouldn’t hear from them, and again we thought, ‘it’s not happening …’

“A series of these sorts of things kept occurring and then, sure enough, they were in America filming the movie and it was all going ahead.

“And then we ended up in a studio together, and the rest is history.”

After A Boy Called Sailboat was released to the public in 2018, Leonard and Slava continued their association with the film by touring Australia with live performances of the soundtrack.

Their set-up – which sees them perform music from the picture as it screens behind them – is by no means unique, yet remains a challenge even for the most experienced musician.

“In the beginning, it was all very scary and tricky,” Leonard said.

“There’s a lot happening – we’ve got a screen that’s giving us lots of markings and details and all that sort of stuff, and a clip track in one ear.

“You can’t really zone-out at all.

“But we’ve come to the point now where it feels very comfortable doing it, and it’s always a lot of fun.”

The Grigoryan Brothers performing their music live. Photo: Stephen McKenzie

As for the film itself, it tells of a young boy named Sailboat (Julian Atocani Sanchez) – as alluded to in the title – who reveals himself to be a prodigious guitarist.

With its enchanting, wholesome story and cast of Hollywood A-listers, the brothers are often having to compete with the picture for attention, a fact they are content with.

“We know that we’ve done a good job if the audience is not necessarily paying attention to us a hundred per cent of the time,” Leonard said.

“You don’t want to be… the centre of the show – the movie’s kind of the centrepiece, and the music is the cherry on top, I guess.”

If the music is the cherry, then the cream must be the Q&A session that concludes the screening.

For this portion of the show, the brothers will be joined by Nugent to field questions from the audience.

Nugent’s name may not be familiar to attendees, but his face certainly will be – as a young actor, he appeared in iconic Australian TV shows such as Round the Twist, SeaChange and Noah & Saskia.

Leonard promised that Nugent will have plenty of stories to tell.

“Every time we do these Q&As, he brings up something new, either about the movie or about his life,” Leonard said.

“He’s a real character, (and) one of the hardest working people I know.”

The Grigoryan Brothers will be appearing at The Wedge on Friday, August 12 from 8pm.

Tickets are available through thewedge.com.au or calling the box-office on 5143 3200.