We've read interviews with music supervisors — those folks responsible for selecting, negotiating, and placing music in television programs, movies, and commercials — where the questions centered on topics such as licensing agreements, working relationships with filmmakers, and general inspiration. But nobody asks the question we all want to hear the answer to: How much of your career do you owe to Sigur Rós?
Even if you haven't heard of Sigur Rós, you've certainly heard them. That's because the music from this Icelandic foursome — which has been characterized as everything from prog-dirge to Valium rock to ambient chill-out to shoegaze for chin-strokers — has become something of a soundtrack staple. Sigur Rós was playing when James Franco's character in 127 Hours finally extricated himself from that pesky boulder and stumbled his way to freedom. Sigur Rós was playing at the end of Vanilla Sky when Tom Cruise's character bid farewell to his sweetheart and took a flying leap. Sigur Rós was playing when Bill Murray's character finally tracked down his “great white whale' in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
In fact, right now, on some TV channel, some reality show contestant has completed a particularly difficult challenge that involves a 10-mile hike along the rim of an erupting volcano and the consumption of a dozen witchetty grubs, and as he walks away in slow motion, his arms raised in victory, the sweat dripping from his brow, Sigur Rós' crescendos and sonic bombs are playing in the background.
The group's sixth LP, Valtari, is due out this week. While listening to the album, we couldn't help but imagine all the television/film/commercial scenes that will one day unfurl to these tracks. Here's what we came up with: