thrilling soundtrack for
a feature film about
“the biggest cover-up
in Indian history”
Rob Morrison’s contribution to The Gandhi Murder is an epic score.
From a “Cuban-sounding track for a Christmas party scene” to a “low and eerie string arrangement for a dream sequence” to a “dramatic number for a tragic moment, ” the Chicago-based composer went all over the map, literally and figuratively, to get it done.
“I created the electronic score in Dubai and added orchestra to it in Bulgaria,” he says. “I went from 90-degree to 20-degree weather.”
The Gandhi Murder is a film that explores widely-held suspicions about the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the man who led India’s struggle for independence from British rule in the early-to-mid 20th century.
Shortly after helping India gained its independence on August 15, 1947, Ghandi was shot to death in his garden.
According to the film, a number of people within the fledgling nation’s political and security forces knew about the plot to kill him, which the official trailer describes as “the biggest cover-up in Indian history.”
THE GANDHI MURDER OFFICIAL TRAILER
Morrison felt comfortable with a trio of The Gandhi Murder producers — who contacted him through social media — as soon as he arrived in Dubai to collaborate with them.
“Dr. Moobi Alwright, Pankaj Sehgal, and Nogen Boruah welcomed me like a brother,” he recalls. “It was beautiful, man, the relationship.”
Building a studio was one of his first tasks he completed. The job came naturally to the musician who began playing guitar when he was ten-years-old.
“I created a whole rig, from the M-Audio keyboard that I used to all kinds of different plug-ins like East West Sounds, Heavyocity, Native Instrument, Spectrasonics Omnisphere, and Spitfire Audio,” he says. “My main DAW (digital audio workstation) was Logic Pro.”
When the producers described the style of music that they wanted for the film, Morrison recalls being a little bit “shocked,” but by no means unhappy.
“These guys said, ‘no Hindi, no Indian’ — they wanted more of the American sound,” he says. “My inspiration was the work of Brian Tyler, who did the most recent Fast and Furious, Thor, and Crazy Rich Asians.”
If the entire soundtrack achieves the same sonic emotion of the trailer, Morrison did it right. A thrilling symphony of orchestral strings and thumping drums, it builds adequate suspense without disrupting the visuals.
The Gandhi Murder’s stellar cast, led by Avatar star Stephen Lang, has also helped the film gain noteworthy buzz.
Besides adding another achievement to his 15-year career, Morrison is grateful for the cultural impact that his inclusion on the project represents.
“It was an honor to work on this,” he explains, “especially because there are not a lot of African Americans working in this capacity.”
He also emerged from the job as an even greater fan and budding scholar of Mahatma Gandhi.
“I lived with these characters every single moment of every single day,” he says. “I learned Gandhi wanted to pattern his life on a lot of the same values that President Abraham Lincoln did. It was a history lesson for me.”
Send your music updates to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton, email@example.com.