Audio: On the Score with Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil and Tom Tykwer

By • October 22, 2012

ON THE SCORE is sponsored by La-La Land Records

Since founding the musical collective known as Pale 3, composing scores that connect time, space and lost souls has been a driving force for Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil and Tom Tykwer. Brought together by the latter in his desire to open up new musical horizons (when not wearing his other cinematic hats of writing and directing), the triumvirate begun with 1996’s “Winter Sleepers” would jump from Germany to become a world-wide sensations with 1998’s “Run Lola Run.” But if that soundtrack’s fans only expected a flash in the rhythmic pan from a score that relentlessly propelled its clock-smashing heroine via beats and breaths, the trio defied expectations with their beautifully dream-like, barely-moving score for their next film, 2000’s “The Princess and the Warrior.”

With Klimek and Heil expanding upon the Pale 3 sound beyond Tykwer’s orbit on dozens of scores from “One Hour Photo” to “Land of the Dead” and “Deadwood,” it would be six years before the trio re-united on a feature. But 2006’s “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” would be worth their admirer’s wait. For this period-set, existential serial killer film about an odiferous mutant, Kimek, Heil and Tykwer added a new orchestral dimension to their sound, doing the impossible of musically capturing a hypnotically lethal sense of smell in the process.

That kind sonic evolution now takes a truly cosmic leap with “Cloud Atlas.” For this adaptation of David Mitchell’s cult novel, Tykwer joins the Starship Wachowski in co-writing and directing a centuries-spanning tale of constantly re-incarnated characters, all of whom go through the fateful motions of trying to achieve a connection in romance and the human condition. Klimek, Heil and Tykwer provide the titular musical tie that binds, as multi-embodied by a classical piece whose lyrical power is superb enough to be heard though death and life.

But beyond a memorable concert work that truly lives up to such high expectations, Pale 3 has composed a singular piece of multi-themed astonishment. Playing through the ages with enough styles to match the actors’ makeups, the trio captures the exoticism of an aristocrat on a slave-holding plantation, the elegance of a brashly sexual young composer, the suspenseful desperation of an investigative reporter, the madcap comic music of a harried book editor, techno-action chases for a future Korea and the savagery of a post-holocaust future.

Yet instead of defining one sound for every era, Klimek, Heil and Tykwer seamlessly merge their motifs across the ages to give “Cloud Atlas” its rhythms, blending orchestra, pulsating electronics, choruses and a soaring salute to John Adams in an astonishing, captivating score that eventually becomes all things for all personages, as well as a summation of Pale 3’s past and future.

Now on a new episode of On the Score, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil and Tom Tykwer talk about the imaginative synergy of a score as big, and varied as the stars themselves for “Cloud Atlas.”

Click above to Listen Now

a Buy the Soundtrack: CLOUD ATLAS
a Buy the Soundtrack: PERFUME
a Buy the Soundtrack: RUN LOLA RUN
a Visit Reinhold Heil’s website

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