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Music Video - Ouverture (The Reformers)

The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The original soundtrack for The Reformers is now available to stream on all the major services -

The story of how this soundtrack came to be is that I started out collaborating with a young Australian musician. Our early development work had been progressing smoothly until I shared a rough cut of the first scene with him.

So I’ve just had a watch-through of the first snippet you sent over. With *band name* we have a policy where we don’t get involved with anything political unless it’s an issue that we specifically have strong feelings on. Unfortunately, the topic of this documentary doesn’t fall within that category and I simply don’t understand the issue enough to be comfortable with the possibility that people may make the assumption that I agree/disagree with the content.

I’m really sorry if that leaves you in a tough spot for music.

It was disappointing but the kind of thing I’d grown accustomed to while working on the film. The Australian industry is particularly insular and prone to quietly casting aside those that don’t fall in line so while it’s frustrating I understand his impulse toward career preservation.

I was feeling depleted by the news and playing around with royalty-free music when (at the same moment) I received a DM from a prominent anon crypto trader known as Algod.

Hey Mike, absolutely in love with the YouTube channel and the work the academics did… I’d like to help out. Do you take crypto?

I told him about the predicament and he generously sent over enough ETH for my producer and me to entice some musical talent into the project. Several of the reference tracks I’d sent to the runaway Australian were from a French outfit called Scratch Massive. I wanted the film to have an otherworldly digital sound and I’d been poking around French, neo-cold wave, bands.

My producer suggested we take a punt and reach out to Scratch Massive’s agent who told us Sébastien Chenut (NEWEM), 50% of Scratch Massive, liked the project and had a few weeks to work with us on a soundtrack.

Sébastien is a mad genius and incredibly fast at creating original music. I’d often deliver obtuse feedback through a non-trivial language barrier and instead of tweaking a song he’d go away for half a day and come back with two or three completely new tracks.

After our time together was up, we had a huge collection of master tracks and stems that needed to be retrofitted to the edit that was still coming together. With a little more ETH left over and some renewed confidence, we took another punt by asking a renowned Australian sound designer and musician, Nick Batterham to come on board.

Nick added some percussive elements to the tracks to give the film a sense of locomotion and added some of his own original music. He brought a lot to the project with his input extending far beyond music and into the editing of the film itself. At the time my producer and I had been working on laptops in living rooms with no outside help and so Nick was a much-needed source of input.

From scraping the bottom of the royalty-free barrel to working with highly talented and experienced artists, I feel very lucky for how this played out and looking back at it now I’m reminded of the parable of the runaway horse.

In other positive news, The Process is ranked #3 on Substack for Philosophy.

It looks like the experiment is going well, I’m grateful for all your support and well-thought-out feedback. Thank you.

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The Process
The Process
Michael Nayna