2001: a Garden of Personnal Mirrors, performed by folk singer Naomi Gardner, was to serve as promotional music for the film.
Half a century after its release, 2001: A Space Odyssey still delivers some secrets. If the soundtrack of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece is for many inseparable from the grandiose images that compose it, the choice of music has been the subject of much discussion. In 1968, the director had asked his publicist Mike Kaplan to record a song intended for the promotion of the film. 52 years later, 2001: A Garden of Personal Mirrors has just been revealed to the general public.
It was during a meeting with MGM Records and Stanley Kubrick, intended to assess the potential of another song to appear in the feature film, that Kaplan was commissioned, says the Guardian . The director of Dr Folamour wanted a hit to get people talking about his new and gigantic project. Playing the piano himself, accompanied by the voice of folk singer Naomi Gardner, the publicist presented the finished product after hours of work.
“The intention of the single was to capture the different reactions that 2001 aroused in spectators and the media, the many levels of interpretation and appreciation, from its hypnotic visuals to its metaphysical illuminations. We also wanted to arouse the curiosity of the public who had not yet seen what was becoming a cultural phenomenon.Mike Kaplan explained to The Observer.
But the filmmaker was not convinced. No matter how much he admits to liking the song, it did not meet his expectations. The two men never raised the subject again, but will continue to work together on Clockwork Orange. Remained all his years in a box, the title was finally played a few weeks ago by Radio Scala, an English station dedicated to classical music, and published by the small independent label Wave Theory Records.
Mike Kaplan is not the only one to have paid the price for Stanley Kubrick’s perfectionism. Composer Alex North (A streetcar named desire, Viva zapata, Spartacus) was originally tasked with writing the entire soundtrack for 2001. Once the work was completed and presented, its creation met with the categorical refusal of Stanley Kubrick. The result was not conclusive enough for the director, who preferred to draw on the classical repertoire: Le Beau Danube bleu by Johann Strauss, several pieces by György Ligeti and Thus spoke Zarathustra by Richard Strauss for the opening scene.