Acclaimed composer Max Richter has released ‘To The Stars’, his first single from the forthcoming soundtrack to Brad Pitt’s highly anticipated new movie Ad Astra. The track was released today coinciding with the film’s release in cinemas.
Ad Astra, a sci-fi thriller set in the future, stars Brad Pitt as an elite astronaut who travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.
Max Richter’s score, informed by detailed conversations with Brad Pitt and the film’s director James Gray, combines strings, electronics and vocals creating an epic soundscape underpinning the emotional power and scale of the movie. His soundtrack has been described as “a stunning kind of symphony” by Vanity Fair. Max Richter first began composing the music for Ad Astra almost two years ago, in the initial phase of the film’s production.
“I first saw a rough-cut of the film in early 2018 and was immediately intrigued,” Richter recalled. “I knew I wanted to be part of the world James was inventing in Ad Astra. After James, Brad and I had discussed some initial thoughts, I began by making sketches away from the picture, exploring the themes and psychology of this material in musical terms.”
The composer was inspired by the NASA Voyager probes that left Earth in the 70s, destined for the outer planets – a journey similar to that of Brad Pitt’s character in the film. He incorporated sounds transmitted from Voyager 1 and 2 into the fabric of his music.
Max Richter explained, “This ‘location recording’ approach allowed me to use actual material recorded at the sites depicted in the story: when Brad is travelling past Saturn or Jupiter for example, we can actually hear music made from the data the Voyager probes transmitted from that site. The music thus illuminates the story in two ways at once: it illustrates what’s happening in the story a traditional film score way, but it also documents the journey in an entirely new way, by incorporating actual material gathered on the trip.”
Ad Astra premiered at the Venice Film Festival last month and has been described as a “superb space-opera” by The Guardian, and a “memorable journey to the stars” by Time Out, in glowing reviews.
Max Richter concluded, “This film has been a major endeavour. It’s a heartfelt project from both Brad and James – who poured everything into it – and meticulously chipped away at the story over years till they were happy. I have nothing but admiration for this dedication.”
‘To The Stars’, the first single from the forthcoming Ad Astra soundtrack, is out now and can be bought here.