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ALEXANDER

Final Production Information

THE MUSIC OF ALEXANDER

During filming, Stone employed a technique familiar to him throughout his career: the playing of appropriate and often haunting music between scenes on set as an aural backdrop, setting tone and mood for the actors and crew. Although on previous films Stone would often utilize "temp music," for Alexander, he played music that was being composed simultaneously, a thousand miles away in Athens, by famed Greek composer Vangelis. Inspired by the story of Alexander, one of his personal heroes, Vangelis dug deep into the roots of Greek and Macedonian musical heritage. The composer scored not only with his famed synthesizer, but also for such ancient instruments as bagpipes (which, although associated with Celtic music, probably originated north of Macedonia in what is today Bulgaria), drums, lutes and lyres.

"There’s a whole mixture of musical influences in the melodies and rhythms," explains music supervisor Budd Carr (who has worked with Stone on every one of his films since Salvador), "blending the cultures that Alexander encountered: Persia, Afghanistan, Egypt, India. Since we’re depicting 320 B.C., you can’t go to your CD collection and pull out material. Oliver has always written music into his scripts, so we had several scenes with groups of musicians playing in Macedonia, Persia, Balkh (Afghanistan) and India. In order to provide the authentic feel Oliver wanted for these scenes, composer Vangelis, who has a deep knowledge of the musical history of these areas, composed, recorded and produced original music for the musicians to play. His powerful score for the film evokes the past and includes diverse ethnic influences and instrumentation."

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