Max Richter composed “The Blue Notebooks” in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He has called it a protest album and “a meditation on violence – both the violence that I had personally experienced around me as a child and the violence of war, at the utter futility of so much armed conflict”.
The 2004 album was re-issued this summer and includes several alternate arrangements of “On the Nature of Daylight”. You might know the track already from films such as Will Ferrell’s Stranger than Fiction, Michael Winterbottom’s The Face of an Angel and Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi film Arrival. And Martin Scorsese’s old mate Robbie Robertson had the genius idea of mixing it with an old Dinah Washington vocal for the end of Scorsese’s film Shutter Island…
That’s the thing about Max Richter’s music. Very filmic. What I didn’t know until this morning (I live in a cave, I’m drowning in too much speculative news drivel about Brexit etc etc) is that to tie in with the album’s re-issue Elizabeth Moss recorded a video for “On the Nature of Daylight”.
The finished video is at the top of the page and – I’m a sucker for these things – here’s the “making of” the video:
And here’s a more literal “making of”, with the composer himself in the recording studio: