A blog about writing music for The Map to Paradise (film) by Emmy Award-winning composer Daniel Clive McCallum  You can listen to Dan’s original score for The Map to Paradise for free via iTunes - HERE.

I have always had a deep connection with nature. I used to take my ‘Mom’s Road Map Guide’ and my bike as a young child to green areas with the hope of finding new nature reserves to explore. A couple times I found only cricket pitches, but sometimes I found magical natural oases. I would shut my eyes a let the sounds of nature wash over me. Kookaburras, bell birds, whip birds and bee hives. They became the soundtrack that went along with my explorations. 

It is this feeling that I hoped to bring to The Map to Paradise score. I began my journey into the soundtrack of this incredible film by exploring the sounds of nature. I researched and incorporated whale and dolphin song, boat sounds, bird sounds, and bee hive sounds, to craft a score that marries music with nature. Bee hive sounds, for example, change as the hive transitions from feeling secure to feeling under attack. Putting a subtle sound of a threatened bee hive into the background of a score makes an audience member feel instinctually and inexplicably stressed, even with no music. By taking advantage of this instinctual fight or flight reaction, I was able to join the sounds of nature with my score to make the audience feel that nature is truly under attack. 

I was also very fortunate because our incredible directors, James Sherwood and Danielle Ryan, were able to record the sounds of ocean life in the field for me to use in my score. It is of utmost importance for the audience to understand that the ocean has its own voice, which is under threat. By allowing the whales and dolphin’s voices to be heard, the audience can understand that saving the ocean is about more than just keeping the ocean blue - it is about preserving the unseen lives and unheard voices below the surface. 

It is far too easy for people to see nature as a never ending, faceless, resource to kill, harvest, or consume. By giving an equal and powerful voice to nature, I hope to allow the audience to create a personal connection with some of the beings that are under threat. 

Map to Paradise composer Daniel Clive McCallum © James Sherwood, Bluebottle Films copy.jpg