Movie: Fantasy of Companionship between Human and Inanimate (English) version
Composer, Orchestrator, Arranger, Producer – Manu Martin
Manu Martin graduated at the age of 16 from the Conservatory of Bordeaux with a jury ‘Special Mention’. He then joined the Faculty of Musicology of Toulouse and Bordeaux, where he completed a Masters in Musicology. He moved to Paris to pursue a career as a pianist and composer, composing music for television and radio. Martin has worked alongside acclaimed French artists and more recently composed six of the tracks from Florent Pagny’s chart-topping, platinum album ‘Aime La Vie’. In 2017, Manu Martin joined Dr Susan Lim’s ALAN project both as a musician and music arranger, together with Matthieu Eymard, Music Director, for the ALAN the Musical project. In November 2018, he was commissioned by Susan to compose the Lim Fantasy of Companionship for Piano and Orchestra.
Says Manu Martin “Alan was from the start, a cinematic adventure, a cross between the classical world, through my writing, but also film music, to illustrate the story of Alan. Susan Lim created this story and described it to me precisely, which allowed me, with her, to build a musical setting, a musical tale, while respecting the piano solo, which was to be the framework of this work for Piano and orchestra. The addition of tribal percussions, such as Taikos, is not so common in classical writing, and this mix with new technologies prompted me to orchestrate with pop/rock instruments, such as drums, bass, electric guitar – the crossroads of two worlds, classic and modern. The opportunity to work alongside and to share Susan’s vision of companionship for the future and to compose the Fantasy of Companionship for Piano and Orchestra has been the most extraordinary and uplifting experience of a lifetime for me.”
1. Sir, what would be your definition of music? How would you trace the evolution of music across mediums? The radio, the television, the screen.
2. What genres do you prefer? What would be your recommendations? Is there a specific song that you would hear on loop? Something like a guilty pleasure.
3. Describe the potent role music plays in the astute presentation of a movie. How would you define the impact caused by the background score of a movie?
4. About the movie, what was your first impression when you heard the story?
5. The story is pretty much told through the song. What were the things that you had keep in mind while composing/ making the song for the movie?
6. Did you make a conscious effort in trying to conceal the gloomy tone of the story through the song?
7. There is a certain amount of positive energy in the way the song was sung or in that case written. Did you initially see the song as a revitalising force within the movie for the audience? Was this thought retained eventually?
The solutions the song talks about are advances in scientific research, which also bring hope, and that had to be translated musically. One of man’s secret desires is to be eternal, and if that translates into advances in medicine and technology, it is okay. We are living better, healthier than 100 years ago, thanks to science, and we are learning about ourselves every day as physiological beings. Science will one day allow what the film is about. 100 years ago, no one could have imagined what we have today, and I think 100 years from now, a lot will have changed!
8. The movie ends with a line which is full of despair, almost to the extent of accepting the inevitable doom. The volume appears sustained. Was this the all important line keeping in mind the narrative for you?
9. Finally, what would be your two cents in the debate that states that Artificial Intelligence would see the end of mortals in its entirety?
Personally, I’m pretty sure I will not be there to see this. And even if machines will one day have the artificial intelligence necessary to evolve on their own, they will nonetheless remain “mortals”, which will give them a slightly more “human” aspect: I like to imagine that the day the sun sends out a violent solar irruption, or stops shining, there will be nothing left to power the batteries of these machines, however sophisticated they may be. I am not against the fact that one day machines will be part of our daily lives, even if it means replacing us. It is not the human’s vocation, like any other species, to colonize the earth ad vitam aeternam. We will disappear someday, and that’s okay. And the machines too! Sometimes I think to myself that it would be better for our beautiful planet, which we keep destroying by overconsuming it. If machines do better than us, then long live machines and artificial intelligence !!!