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24 March 2023, 14:35
The otherworldly sound of two “oceanic” overtone flutes was used to score the film that won Brendan Fraser an Oscar for Best Actor.
In an empty church at night-time, this flautist set up two giant overtone flutes to record music for the soundtrack of an Oscar-winning movie.
Winne Clement made these magnificent musical structures specially for Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, starring best actor winner, Brendan Fraser.
The film’s composer, Rob Simonsen (Stranger Things) found some old footage on YouTube in which Clement was playing similar overtone flutes, and asked him to make and record a new version for the movie score.
The recording below is a live performance, recorded in a church at night, with no extra sound effects added.
On the size of the instruments, Clement said: “The biggest one can be extended up to 6-7 meters! I actually made some of the world’s biggest flutes by accident!”
Read more: Unearthly acoustics as saxophone and overtone flute improvise duet in giant cooling tower
Listen as the flutes’ eerie, natural harmonics sing through the empty church…
Video shows off the world's largest flutes
The Whale, for which lead actor Brendan Fraser won the 2023 Oscar for best actor, follows Charlie, a morbidly obese English teacher who tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter.
Read more: All Quiet on the Western Front wins 2023 Oscar for Best Original Score
On choosing the overtone flute for the film’s soundtrack, composer Rob Simonsen has said: “It has an ethereal, otherworldly, hollow, but also very large sound. It feels oceanic.
“There are a lot of references to Moby Dick in the film and nautical elements in the sound design and in the production design.
“What I saw was a man lost at sea, on the sea of their own emotions.”
Together, Simonsen and Clement achieved an eerie and fitting musical accompaniment for a devastating story of pain, and unexpected hope.
If you enjoyed the music and would like to support Clement’s work, you can visit his Patreon page here.