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“Interstellar” and the Temple Church

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“Interstellar” and the Temple Church

PostFri Oct 15, 2021 6:37 pm

You may be interested in this extract from an interview given by Roger Sayers, organist at The Temple Church in London.

Following a renovation in 2013, the Temple Church organ on which you’ve performed these Vierne symphonies saw a rather more unconventional use – as part of Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack to the 2014 film Interstellar, with yourself as soloist. Can you tell us a little about how this came about, and what role the organ plays in the soundtrack?

Hans Zimmer had always wanted to write the organ into one of his scores, and the Interstellar film seemed to be the perfect vehicle for this ambition. He based his registrations and organ writing on the Salisbury Hauptwerk organ and, having completed the score, decided that he would like to record the organ part live on a real organ. A member of his team knew of the Temple Church and its organ, and we were approached as a possible venue. Given the location, without passing traffic noise and the daily routine of choral services, we were chosen and I happened to be in the right place at the right time!

The organ is a major part of the narrative of the film. The story is as much about human emotion as it is about dimensions across galaxies. Each theme in the organ score is associated with either characters or events. The most haunting of all the themes is played on gentle flutes, and represents the loss of time and life experiences. Zimmer interweaves this poetic organ writing with more thrilling, visceral writing representing power and drama.
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Re: “Interstellar” and the Temple Church

PostThu Jan 13, 2022 6:32 pm

Good evening, Iain.

I have only just come across your post about Roger Sayers and the use of the Temple Church organ in the film Interstellar.
If anyone else is interested in that interview, it features, along with illustrations at the organ, on the "Bonus Tracks" disc of the Blu-Ray set for that film.
Plainly, Hans Zimmermann is somewhat taken aback by the power & complexity of the pipe organ as the very first example of a musical synthesiser!

Best wsihes (and a belated Happy New Year!)
Kenneth Spencer
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