A couple years ago I saw M83′s Anthony Gonzalez shopping for groceries in a supermarket near my apartment in Koreatown, Los Angeles. I figured he was here to work with a particular record producer, but what I should have been thinking is that Gonzalez was laying the foundations for moving into film scoring. Indeed, it’s just been announced by “Tron: Legacy” director Joseph Kosinski that he has enlisted M83 to score his new science fiction project “Oblivion,” starring Tom Cruise.
For my money, Gonzalez’s last great M83 album was “Before the Dawn Heals Us,” which I’ve often likened to a science fiction concept album in the vein of “Blade Runner.” The all instrumental “Digital Shades: Volume 1″ was, if anything, a test run for cinema scoring. While “Saturdays = Youth” and “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” were solid efforts with several great songs, they also suffered from an ’80s nostalgia, inspired in part by the soundtracks of John Hughes film. Noble in intent, but not always satisfying in execution.
Like Vangelis and Tangerine Dream before him, and more recently Daft Punk (who scored “Tron: Legacy”), Gonzalez’s M83 is heading into the sonic theater for which the musical project was always destined.
According to a Playlist exclusive, Gonzalez has always wanted to score films. “I’m not afraid to do my first soundtrack on a big Hollywood movie, with a big budget and a lot of pressure,” said Gonzalez. “I like challenges and it excites me more than frightens me. I can’t wait to hear my music played by amazing musicians, and an orchestra and brass and maybe choirs. It’s a chance to create something big and I’m ready for it.”
What’s interesting about this Kosinski-Gonzalez collaboration is that M83 had been on the director’s radar for many years, with the music actually inspiring the creation of “Oblivion.” The film itself is set in the distant future, with the main character (played by Tom Cruise) fixing drones that protect the Earth from constantly invading aliens. When a mysterious women, who may or may not be the enemy, crash lands on Earth, it changes the character’s life.
With Kosinki’s visual genius and Gonzalez’s sonic touch, “Oblivion” should be a cinematic wonder.