I was once again honored to be part of the music team for Cloud Atlas, the new Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski film that comes out Friday. I worked as a music arranger and programmer for composers Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil, and Tom Tykwer.
The soundtrack is possibly their finest work yet, in my opinion, and currently has an average review of five stars on iTunes. When Tykwer, Heil and Klimek work together, they take an unusual approach of composing and recording a score before shooting even begins. It was amazing to watch the journey the soundtrack took from its initial rich themes from the first recordings, to the edits and additional composition once the movie was shot and being edited, to the final orchestrations and final recording sessions once the picture was locked. As the six stories were edited together in different groupings and timings, so was it necessary for the music to be rearranged and recomposed. The three of them composed much more material than you hear on screen.
I have always been a fan of the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer, and the hurdles they had to jump through and sacrifices they had to take for this film were enormous. After no studio would invest the full budget, they invented a new model of global financing, gathering many smaller investors as well as investing in the film themselves and waiving their directing fees. Jittery financiers would pull out because of the risks involved and the project was in jeopardy several times. Halle Berry broke her foot and they had to shoot with two crews simultaneously. No one knew how to advertise the film or what category to put it in. Despite all of this, they have handled the release deftly, and everyone involved with the film is in love with it, including myself.
I also have to congratulate Lana Wachowski, who is beautiful inside and out, and who bravely stepped out of her veil of privacy to promote this movie and create this art. I have read nothing but positive press about her and I’m thrilled that journalists are using the right pronouns and finally being respectful to her and transgendered people, even pointing out the relation between her self expression and fitting themes in the movie. It’s amazing how much our political climate has changed – six years ago there was nothing but negative rumors and exposés about her. When you gather confidence and proudly and shine the light of authenticity back at the poison, it scatters. I heard Lana was aware how important visibility is to other young transgendered filmmakers and artists and that that was part of her motivation. I’m thankful to her for winning the respect of her cast and crew just by being so bright and authentic, and for being such a brilliant role model for so many people. (I’m also thankful to Eddie Izzard and several others.)
I’m very excited for Cloud Atlas’s premiere this week. You can buy the soundtrack online at the links below: