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The Letter: A Message for our Earth - Soundtrack Release

From the feature documentary available on YouTube Originals and PBS

The Letter: A Message for our Earth - Soundtrack Release

In 2015, Pope Francis wrote Laudato Si’ - an encyclical letter about the environmental climate crisis - to every single person in the world. A few years later, four representative voices that had gone unheard in global conversations were invited to a dialogue with the Pope: an unprecedented conversation. Hailing from Senegal (Arouna Kande), the Amazon (Chief Odair 'Dada' Borari), India (Ridhima Pandey), and Hawai’i (Greg Asner and Robin Martin), they bring perspectives and solutions from the poor, the indigenous, the youth, and wildlife into a conversation with Pope Francis himself. This feature documentary follows their journey to Rome and the extraordinary experiences that took place there. It is packed with powerfully moving personal stories alongside the latest information about the planetary crisis and the toll it’s taking on nature and people.

About the score

“The Letter is essentially attempting to light the fire of hope in the human race". This was the first line of briefing given to me by the film’s edit director, Carla Rebai. Musical inspiration for this score came from a 15th Century vocal setting of the 'Canticles of Creation' by Saint Francis to an 11th century Gregorian Chant. The Allelulia from this setting initially presented 7 pitches (C–D–F–G–E–D–F). I began exploring the potential of these pitch relationships in different musical contexts against the film and narrative: the emerging theme developed into a reference point, presented in variation throughout the score, sometimes explicitly, sometimes discreetly. In this way the score brings some archaic material (relating generally to the Roman Church with its long history, and specifically to Pope Francis who is named after the Saint) into a contemporary secular setting. In keeping with the universal message of The Letter, there is no hint of religiosity or reverence, although the score works to support an unfolding sense of hope and compassion. The score is beautifully performed by the Budapest Art Orchestra conducted by Péter Pejtsik.”

William Goodchild

June 2023


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With thanks to

Aria Khrime at Cool Music Ltd and Mikael Carlsson at MusicScore Media/ Realty Bytes

Director Nicolas Brown, Carla Rebai, Alan Miller (Editor) and Andrew Wilson (Re-recording Mixer)

and everyone at Off The Fence, YouTube Originals and Laudato Si' Movement.

Music Department

Score Assistant – Dan Pollard

Orchestrator and Music Preparation – Ed Watkins

Music Mixer – Jonathan Scott

Budapest Art Orchestra

Conductor - Péter Pejtsik

Engineers – David Lukacs and Gabor Buczko

Session Producer - Miklos Lukacs


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