The Mysterious Islands: The Score Part 1

Posted on December 31, 2009 at 7:50 pm, by Ben

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A couple months ago I received a phone call out of the blue offering me a position to help out on the musical score for The Vision Forum and Erwin brothers studio’s latest film, The Mysterious Islands. The film is about a group of extraordinary men who travel to the Galapagos Islands to refute the evolutionist theories of Charles Darwin 150 years after his historic visit to the islands.

Needless to say, I was already looking forward to the film’s release with much anticipation, so being asked to be part of the music team was a real honor. I was joining the film’s primary composer, Paul Mills, a professional based out of Franklin TN, and Audri Vernier, a San Antonio-based cellist (and interviewee in Homeschool Dropouts, I might add) who recorded multiple Bach cello solos for the film.

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Above is a short scene from the film where the adventurers go beneath the surface of the water for the first time. Underwater music has a rich and glorious heritage; From Saint Saens to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to John Williams, there is a lot of great music here to draw inspiration from (and be judged by), so writing in the style can be an exhilarating and daunting experience. Nevertheless, I had a blast. You can hear the music I composed for the scene and judge for yourselves how well it works.

Over the next couple weeks I will be posting an assortment of different clips and teasers of the score, so be sure to check back regularly. Also, be sure to check out Paul Mills’s myspace page to hear some of his music!

Media used with permission from Vision Forum 2009

16 Comments

  • I recognized some parts that reminded me of work from Hans Zimmer (specifically from PotC, Batman, Transformers), National Treasure, and Master and Commander. Were these “inspiration” for the entire score?

    Posted by Jeremiah Warren on December 31st, 2009 at 7:59 pm
  • I got the sound track for christmas, I love it.

    Posted by Dallas on January 1st, 2010 at 4:36 pm
  • Jeremiah,

    To have your question answered properly you would really have to ask a number of the different people involved on the project– A number of people had influential roles in deciding the direction of the score for TMI. And it also kinda depends on what you mean by “inspiration.” 🙂

    But if you want to hear which composer wrote which music, I recommend you buy the soundtrack from Vision Forum. http://www.visionforum.com/search/productdetail.aspx?search=soundtrack&productid=47861

    Posted by admin on January 1st, 2010 at 5:00 pm
  • Thanks, Dallas!
    I’m glad you appreciate it.

    Posted by admin on January 1st, 2010 at 5:01 pm
  • Love the Movie,
    and the soundtrack is great.

    Posted by Samuel on January 4th, 2010 at 8:31 am
  • Love the Movie, and the soundtrack is great.

    Posted by Samuel on January 4th, 2010 at 8:32 am
  • Wow, what a blessing of an opportunity! That film looks good, too.

    As to the clip- the music definitely had that surreal feel. Reminded me of BBC’s “Blue Planet” and also something from “Star Wars,” when they were underwater, swimming to Jar-Jar’s world….

    Good job.

    Posted by Gabriel H. on January 6th, 2010 at 11:55 am
  • From Return of the Daughters to Mysterious Islands I have enjoyed the music. Outstanding job!

    Posted by Hannah Mendenhall on January 12th, 2010 at 4:39 pm
  • Oh cool! I had no idea you did the music for this movie! I really liked it! I’ll have to watch it again!: )
    I was enthralled with the animals! Usually I notice things like music, which I’m very big into. I did remember a few scenes of which had great music! Kind of peaceful and serene right? I agree with Gabriel, it did sound like BBC type music. Its very important to me that the filming be good in movies, which this one was. Great movie!

    Posted by Natasha on January 18th, 2010 at 10:44 pm
  • I really do like your music here! It really fits with the way the creatures move. I especially like the ray in the first little bit, the gentle violin (?) in the background makes it even more beautiful! I can’t wait to see (I mean hear) more of your music in the future!

    Posted by Natalya on January 24th, 2010 at 11:36 am
  • Mr. Botkin:
    I have met your sisters and they are both wonderful. So tonight I was on their website, saw a link to Jasmine Baucham’s site, and on JB’s site saw a link to your site. JSYK: I’m blown away. I’m sitting here on my couch going, “oh my gosh. This is incredible. Where can I buy this music?!”
    Well, I bought the Mysterious Islands soundtrack. Two words: Love It. I really do. Please continue making this awesome music. God bless you and He has given you a great talent.
    In Christ,
    -E Rose

    Posted by Emily Rose on February 4th, 2010 at 9:37 pm
  • Very good, Mr. Botkin. I have the sound track, and my two favorites were written by you. Keep up the good work. And by the way . . . I LOVE your ‘Buccaneers!’ piece.

    ~Jamie Joyce

    P.S. Please tell your sisters they are a blessing to our family for me . . . 🙂

    Posted by Jamie on March 26th, 2010 at 11:31 pm
  • Great job Ben!
    Stunning music !!

    Posted by Willem van Wyk on April 12th, 2010 at 3:59 pm
  • It is so interesting to read the “thinking” and inspiration behind the music for a soundtrack. This movie is beautiful and the music adds so much to the beauty. I really liked reading about it then watching the clip. Well done!

    I am enjoying my Monday evenings with your mother!

    Posted by Deanna Rabe on April 15th, 2010 at 10:43 am
  • […] young lady, Audri Vernier (now Audri Botkin), who has appeared on this site before in less exclamatory fashion. Our journey to this point has been a blessed time of growth and we’ve witnessed the […]

    Posted by A Good Thing « Ben Botkin on October 1st, 2010 at 1:33 pm
  • […] young lady, Audri Vernier (now Audri Botkin), who has appeared on this site before in less exclamatory fashion. Our journey to this point has been a blessed time of growth and we’ve witnessed the […]

    Posted by A Good Thing - Persevero! on October 1st, 2010 at 3:20 pm