The Making of Snow Monkey Soundtrack:
Music by: Hellen Rose, Hugo Race, Mick Harvey, Daniel Tucerri, Brian Hooper, Kim Salmon, Anna McInerney, Julitha Ryan
Mixed at Soundpark by Andrew 'Idge' Hehir
Film Sound Mixer David White and Sound Editor Serge Stanley along with the Films Editor Nick Myers.
I'm delighted to have these great musicians create a soundtrack for Snow Monkey. As Music Director on the film Hellen Rose approached Hugo Race on a short trip back to Sydney during a year long film shoot in Jalalabad at the Yellow House in late 2014. She asked Hugo to co produce with her and help create her vision of Afghan and Australian musicians recording together. This was a perfect choice and has resulted in the creation of a unique and haunting soundtrack that unifies us all with the power of music.
The inimitable Mick Harvey's contribution along with the other legendary talents of Kim Salmon and Brian Hooper has confirmed this as a world class musical experience. It also insured the inclusion of some classic heavy riffs that rock the boat right out of the water. Added to this is the talent of an up and coming Melbourne musician Dan Tucceri, a new young 'king of keys'. Included was a string section of Anna McInerney and Julitha Ryan - stunningly ancient and traditional elements from across the world, melding into a new sound. This is a collaboration with our Yellow House Jalalabad musicians that creates a cultural collide that is about beauty, peace, dignity, respect and freedom. Hellen sings in both English and Pashto, translating what has become the theme song to the film 'Brave Like Lions' written by her longstanding Pashtun collaborator Murtezah who is featured in the film. She recorded the incredible talent of Afghan, Zalalai Pakta, the famous Sufi Flutist, the duet of he and Mick Harvey on guitar is moving and memorable. There are many such collaborations on the soundtrack, Tucceri playing keys with the trance like drumming of the traditional Laqman Players has created an exotica of sound that matches the unfolding imagery of the film perfectly. The soundtrack will be available online soon through 'Tunecore' but will be released on a double vinyl album! The Australian recording and mix was done at Soundpark in Melbourne in analogue. Engineered by Andrew 'Idge' Hehir, whose hard work and skill saw this stage of this big project come together.
Sound Mixer David White and Sound Editor Serge Stanley along with the film Editor Nick Myers showed real brilliance fitting the music so perfectly to the images and emotions of the film. Sheer talent as well as years of experience, enabled them to create the correct balance between the dialogue and the music, as both are so strong they had to be made to work where one did not distract from the other. The result is both a delicate and rich visual and musical immersive experience, of unequaled beauty and passion.
Music has been an essential ingredient in all of my films from Sound Track To War to Rampage and the music in this film is as meaningful. I agree with Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese that it is just as important for an audience to be able to close their eyes and be carried away by the film score alone as well as be moved by the screen image. I’ve been very lucky to have Hellen designing a total music narrative from the beginning of the shoot, working with and recording the musicians in her bomb shelter studio in Jalalabad and taking her treasured recordings to Melbourne to enable an amazing cultural collaboration.