Beyond The Infinite: The Music of '2001: A Space Odyssey'
“I thought this is the end. I’ve had it.” — Alex North
Imagine you are a film composer and you’ve just finished your biggest assignment yet, a score to a film which will surely enter the pantheon of all-time greats. The vibe from the director is a bit strange, especially after he said he didn’t need any more music for the rest of the film, but you nevertheless pat yourself on the back for a job well done and look forward to seeing the film. Later, you sit at a screening at the studio and are transfixed in horror as the opening titles emerge onto the screen, accompanied by someone else’s music.
The film was 2001: A Space Odyssey, the director was Stanley Kubrick, and the composer was the highly regarded Alex North, who saw his work thrown out by Kubrick in favor of classical needle-drops. Now, more than 50 years after its 1968 release, it seems impossible to imagine those images without that music. And with North certainly not the first to have a score go unused, the question of how his material matches up to Kubrick’s film is a fascinating one. But does it work? Could you imagine Bogart and Bergman’s final…
Read the rest here.