UK-based OGRE and West Virginia artist Dallas Campbell each have their way with synthesizers, often excelling gloriously together as well as apart. This time around, they’ve decided to “rescore” Stanley Kubrick’s epic sci-fi classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Their collaborations make for compelling fare – and their work adding music to the philosophical ruminations of Kubrick’s opus is no exception. Despite their 4,000-mile geographic separation and lack of ever having met each other in person, OGRE and Campbell have a way of working off each other that is utterly preternatural.
“Despite the distance and living in different time zones, we’re definitely on the same page when it comes to composing music. I couldn’t hope for a better collaborative partner than Dallas,” says OGRE (AKA Robin Ogden). “He’s one inspiring dude, and a great friend. We live a whopping 3,641 miles apart, so this whole project has been facilitated entirely through technology, and the wondrous powers of Dropbox and Facebook chat.”
For their new score, the two men used a variety of analog synthesizers.
“We both love working with hardware, and analog synths in particular,” Ogden said. “Dallas has this absolutely insane collection of old gear.”
For the bulk of the rescore, Ogden used a Korg Mono/Poly from 1984, and Dallas employed a Sequential Circuits Pro One from 1983.
“It was an analog dream team,” Ogden said. “We made everything from basslines, to pads, to leads, arpeggios, kick drums, snares, etc., with just those two instruments. They’re marvelous machines, and make timeless sounds, which I think is the main reason we used them so much.”
Below, the two artists discuss their work restoring Kubrick’s 1968 masterpiece. While you’re reading, sample four tracks from the 135-minute album below and pre-order the album from Telefuture:
I think 2001: A Space Odyssey is a film very close to both of us. I first saw it when I was 12 on late night TV. I’d stayed up way past my bedtime, and had no clue what I was in for. It definitely left a profound impression on me, and I think it’s taken up until now for me to piece together a reading of the film that actually makes sense. Though I always seem to find a new take on what it’s all about each time I watch it.
I think when it comes to rescoring something, you really have to be careful with your film selection. There’d be no point in rescoring something like Blade Runner, or any John Carpenter movie, as the scores are so perfectly married to the film, and are great pieces of music in their own right. The point of a rescore for us is to bring a new meaning to the film, to unveil new readings [and] ideas, and to make new emotional connections with the story, characters, and visuals. It’s a transformative process. If you don’t do something new, you’ll probably just make people angry.
[The film] has been a favorite of mine since I was young, and I’ve watched it tons of times during recording and noodling sessions in the studio. Having always wondered what it would be like with a synth score, it was a no-brainer when Robin suggested it. I really just wanted us to do this so I could watch the finished product, haha.
[Regarding the production,] we each started with a few scenes just trying out different things and sending the ideas back and forth. We worked on a number of these tracks individually, and collaborated on a lot of the more iconic scenes. For me, I kept my setup the same for the majority of the process. Usually just hit record and noodle around. It all came together really easy working with Robin.