Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Sounds of Sandburg

What a film sounds like is one of the important subtleties of film making. It was important to me that The Day Carl Sandburg Died had both an emotional and inventive score. The primary creator of this 'soundscape' is a brilliant composer and performer named Zoe Keating. Zoe plays the cello and composes while looping layers of her instrument. A few years ago our editor at Bonesteel Films, Evan Schafer heard an episode of WNYC's Radiolab featuring Zoe and he encouraged me to give her a listen. Her music is an evocative combination of classical cello and modern sounds, leaving room for the listener's imagination. I experimented with the music under the work-in-progress film and the combination was perfect. Check out her web page for samples of her music, especially her newest release "Into The Trees". We were also fortunate to be able to include Sufjan Stevens anthemic "Chicago" bring a modern background score to the section of the film that dives into the story of one of Carl Sandburg's most well known poems by the same name.

Another critical element in the sound of the film is the narrator, and we are really fortunate to have found a wonderful storyteller names Davis Bates. Davis' voice helps tell the story with an intensity and subtlety that makes for wonderful mix with Zoe's music. There is an abundance of other 'sounds' in the film with Sandburg's voice reading portions of his autobiography, poetry and a number of songs from his "American Songbag". And finally, Asheville composer and sound designer Bruce Sales crafted together the finished mix. All this and much more coming to a film festival, theater and PBS in the coming year! As always, say hello and stay tuned.

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