There are three pieces of music used in Harmless. All three pieces come from independent musicians based in Wellington that Patricia knows well.

The use of music in Harmless

I love the movement from diegetic to non-diegetic and vice versa. Music plays an important part in Harmless, and is used in the juxtaposition of George’s and Geri’s perspectives.

Tony Wilson’s ‘Queen of Hearts‘ opens the film. I selected the piece firstly because of the lyrics – even though they don’t feature in the film, they relate to how George comes to view Geri, or how he wants to view Geri at that time. The opening guitar line reminds me of the music of a romantic-comedy, which is a great way to introduce the audience to the themes of the film. Whilst the music is non-diegetic at the start of the film, when played in Geri’s perspective, the music is diegetic, originating from café speakers.

I love using music and sound design to bridge transitions between scenes and ideas. ‘Late Night Gospel‘ by Moonlight Flit enters as non-diegetic, then swiftly becomes diegetic coming from café speakers, then moves to non-diegetic again. There’s a little bit of mickey-mousing with the lyrics.

Moonlight Flit’s song again suggests a sweet non-diegetic tune as George follows Geri to talk to her, contrasting against the song that Geri listens to on her ipod in her perspective: ‘Quietude Before Quietus‘ by Riverblind. The driving heavy rock suggests a different reading of Geri than that which we had already seen. Geri’s music moves from diegetic (her ipod) to non-diegetic to diegetic again (playing from a stereo in her room), crescendoing and hinting non-diegetic during the climactic scene, then reaching the end of the song during the climax.

– Patricia Hetherington

The songs in Harmless

Tony Wilson

Queen Of Hearts

From Space In Time

Moonlight Flit

Late Night Gospel

From Road To The Outside


Quietude Before Quietus

From the Mind Estate EP

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