“Adagio for Strings”

If you’ve watched the trailer, you’ve probably thought you heard a snippet of a very familiar song, Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”. It’s actually not your parents “Adagio for Strings” – it’s Ferry Corsten’s trance remix of William Orbit’s performance of “Adagio for Strings”.

I do get comments, some of them very thoughtful, about why “Adagio for Strings?” instead of say, original music. The version of “Adagio for Strings” 99% of the world is familar with is a classical string performance. Most people know it from “Platoon” or “Elephant Man” or it’s performance at funerals of dignitaries. The commenters seem to think that “Adagio for Strings” carries baggage. However, this version of “Adagio for Strings” will not be in “Outside In” at all.  Ferry Corsten’s trance remix will be used as well as a couple of new versions of a deconstructed “Electric Adagio for Strings” and some rock/trance music based on those deconstructions.

People have debated the use of existing music vs. original compositions (the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey vs. Star Wars soundtracks). Stanley Kubrick was a pioneer in using well known and obscure existing music in his films to extremely powerful effect (Blue Danube Waltz, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Singing in the Rain etc.). Star Wars, Psycho, Jaws etc. are hard to envision without their original scores. For “Outside In”, the answer is that first, this is a film made in memory of Kubrick and specifically 2001. Though the films are really not similar in any direct way at all, I do want a few sublte connections and use of existing music is one. And I don’t mind the associations people have with “Adagio for Strings”. Let’s just say it works for me…

But most importantly, there would be no “Outside In” without Ferry Corsten’s remix. In the Summer of 2004, I had written a 5 pages of a dialogue scene about the media’s ignorance of the Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn. I had also thought how incredible it would have been to have a motion picture camera (especially an IMAX) at Saturn. But one day, driving in my car, I was blasting Ferry’s remix and the film “Outside In” exploded into my head.  And so three years later, I’m still trying to get it out of my head and onto the screen.

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