Pulling Out All The Stops

Damn, I love the soundtrack to the movie, Interstellar (and the movie too). I listen to the music often while creating and indeed, it is playing now. Track six, Message from Home, to be exact.

You may have read the stories on how many people, when they first saw the movie, thought something was wrong with the sound. At times the actor dialogue was hard to hear over the music. As the movie Director Christopher Nolan later disclosed, there was no issue with the sound in the movie. It played out exactly as he planned. What people did not realize at first is that music is part of the dialogue of the movie and at times, it is the only dialogue pushing the story forward.

Hans Zimmer, the long-time collaborator with Christopher Nolan, did a masterful job of creating this amazing piece of music and storytelling. As the story goes, it started with a single sheet of paper. “A page explaining the fable at the heart of the project,” the Director explains. No details on plot or genre.  Nolan asked Zimmer to create a piece of music to match this fable and the challenge was he had one day to complete the task.

These men know each other well and this approach as Nolan explains “was a direct challenge to the usual working methods. A productive use of process to inform inspiration.” Simply a trust in the creative process … “the making of a thing is the thing itself”.

I pause to think of our workplaces and how at times we all may benefit from directly challenging our usual working methods to create something new and allow for leaps, instead of steps. To respect the working methods of people and enjoy the process of creating and not solely focus on the result.

I enjoyed the movie the first time I watched it. I loved it the second time I watched it, listening and focused on the full dialogue at play, the music and the human speech. At times it was the music, not the speech that drew me to the edge of my seat. I heard and felt every “word”.

The soundtrack uses church pipe organs to add to the mystical, even religious feel of the story. Hans Zimmer and his musicians travelled to Temple Church in London and met virtuoso Organist, Roger Sayer, who added his brilliant artistry to the film score.

Ah, I can go on and on … I am now listening to track 13, Coward. Indeed, I remember how I sat on the edge of my seat for that pivotal scene in the movie. I find myself sitting now at the edge of my seat typing these words.

Here is a great video with more detail on the collaboration of Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer along with the amazing organ music of Roger Sayer. Indeed these artists pulled out all the stops.

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