In a little under two months, Pixar’s latest film Soul will arrive on Disney+ on Christmas Day. It’ll be the second film that The Walt Disney Company has sent to the streaming service in the wake of the coronavrus pandemic, and the first feature length Pixar movie to not get released in theaters in the United States. But the movie is also breaking ground in another way, as it will be the first Pixar film to have two separate soundtracks released to celebrate the music we’ll hear throughout.
One of the soundtracks will feature the score from composers Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross,who have scored David Fincher’s films The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Gone Girl. The other soundtrack will have all the jazz songs and arrangements written and performed by Jon Batiste, acclaimed jazz musician and band leader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Both of the soundtracks will be released the week before the movie arrives on Disney+ (and thanks to Collider for calling our attention to this).
When it comes to the score by Reznor & Ross, it sounds unlike anything you’ve heard in a Pixar movie before. It has a real ethereal and otherworldly quality to it that jibes well with all the wild imagery that comes from The Great Before and The Great Beyond, the worlds that deal with souls before life and after life. Batiste himself tried to create a jazz soundtrack that played well along with that score. During a virtual presentation from Pixar Animation that /Film was invited to, the musician said:
“I wanted to find some jazz music that had an ethereal and very universal, accessible form with melodies and harmonies that had that same spirit. There’s an optimism in them, and it’s also a bit melancholy at the same time. There’s ways that you can modulate and change the key, and it just hits you right here. It’s a very soulful feeling. Every song has those kind of harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic textures, and it brings you to a place spiritually.”
Even though there are two separate soundtracks being released by Pixar, Batiste also talked about some of the moments when Batiste’s music meshed with the score by Reznor & Ross. The musician continued:
“Even if you don’t know how to describe it, it puts you in a space throughout the whole film when you’re hearing that music, and it really complements what Trent and Atticus came up with. The times in the film when our music comes together, when the worlds kinda collide, it’s amazing how it worked out. I really am thankful that we had the chance to do that because at first, we didn’t even hear each other’s music. Then, as the process started to go along, I got a chance to hear some of the music they were making, they heard some of the music that I was making, and we came together in this one moment.”
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