Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Press Release: Composer Brian Skutle Goes "Beyond the Infinite" for his Fourth Album

A decade after its first conception, and 42 years after the film that inspired it, Atlanta-area filmmaker-composer Brian Skutle is proud to release his fourth album, "Beyond the Infinite: A Musical Odyssey".

In 1999, Skutle was a student at Georgia State University when he composed "Beyond the Infinite," a 3 1/2 minute work inspired by the music of Gyorgy Ligeti and the cinema of Stanley Kubrick as it collided in the landmark 1968 film "2001: A Space Odyssey", and the musical seed that would grow into the album of the same name. Adapted from the short story "The Sentinel" by Arthur C. Clarke, "2001" was an ambitious film that tracked man's evolution in intelligence and technology back from the "dawn of man" to the early 21st Century, when the crew of Discovery One is sent to explore a mysterious signal that was directed towards Jupiter from an artifact on the moon. With Oscar-winning visual effects and limitless imagination, Kubrick's iconoclastic sci-fi film has confounded and enthralled audiences ever since its first release during the "space race" of the late '60s.

Skutle was one of those both confounded and enthralled by the film. As he wrote in his 2002 review, "But like the finest cinematic mind-benders, the more times you watch, the more the underlying meaning and form of Kubrick’s film reveals itself...whether you see it as a spiritual epic or pretentious bore, '2001' is a landmark of special effects and sound design." It wasn't just the sights that engaged him: Kubrick's use of classical music to score the action also imprinted itself on Skutle; that and the knowledge of an unused score by Alex North gave him the idea for "Beyond the Infinite."

As he writes in the liner notes for the album, "Conceived in part as an 'alternative soundtrack' to '2001' as much as it is a tone poem, 'Beyond the Infinite' takes its cues, on a musical level, as much from Alex North's elegant, unusued score for '2001' as much as it does the collection of Ligeti, J. Strauss, R. Strauss, and Khachaturian Kubrick used in his epic. The goal was to meld the tonal continuity of North's music with the experimental amalgam of Kubrick's chosen selections...So you have waltz-like works performed by synthesized sounds instead of strings, motifs performed in both chamber and electronic configurations, and pieces that carry a more traditional music structure programmed next to ones of a more avant garde nature."

In the spirit of his conception of "Beyond the Infinite" as an alternative soundtrack to the film, Brian Skutle has chosen an original approach to releasing the album. In addition to being available for purchase at online retailers such as CDBaby and iTunes (along with his other three albums- "Creative Beginnings", "Dark Experiments", and "Sonic Visions of a New Old West"), Skutle has created a special commentary for "2001: A Space Odyssey" which places the pieces of "Beyond the Infinite" in context of the moments in the film they were inspired by, along with newly-recorded commentary that goes in depth onto not only his thoughts on the film itself, but also the creation of "Beyond the Infinite: A Musical Odyssey." Downloadable from, the track allows for a new experience in watching the film, as well as gives voice to an artist and critic with a lot to say as both about this singular work of art.

Thanks for listening,

Brian Skutle
Sonic Cinema Shop
"Creative Beginnings" at CDBaby
"Dark Experiments" at CDBaby
"Sonic Visions of a New Old West" at CDBaby
"Beyond the Infinite: A Musical Odyssey" at CDBaby

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