Song: "Before My Time"
Film: "Chasing Ice"
Songwriter/Composer: J Ralph
Performers: Scarlett Johansson and Joshua Bell
J Ralph: "I felt the best way to link up what I am trying to do [with film] is to not try to create performances in the music. Of all the songs I have done, whether it be Willie Nelson or Norah Jones or Antony & the Johnsons, the first time they heard [the song] was in the studio. I want to capture a moment of fragility and soul. After someone learns the song, it's a performance and not a discovery. Documentaries are discoveries.
"Scarlett is a dear friend of mine. I said, 'You're the only person I want to sing this song.' She came over to my theater [on New York's Lower East Side]. I played it for her, showed her the melody and gave her the lyrics, and we spent half an hour messing around with different keys. I wanted something that reflected this personaldialogue between the will of mankind and the unrelenting force of nature and I wanted to find the key that was best for Scarlett and her low, raspy voice. I wanted to juxtapose the beauty of Joshua's violin on top of that to create that dichotomy. That track is pretty much just reverb. It's just well-placed, well-chosen microphones and world-class musicians.
"I did the score and then at the end I realized this is a very heavy film, a daunting film, and I wanted to write a song that distilled the themes of the movie and allowed the audience to reflect on what they just saw. [The song] was intentionally kept spare. It's a hyper-intimate recording and arrangement so that it becomes very personal, allowing you to be absorbed into the imagery."
Song Sales: 1,000
Soundtrack Sales: N/A
U.S. Box Office: $1.3 million