For much longer than humans have been able to travel to its visible reaches, composers have been trying to capture the musical feel of journeying through space. The latest example comes courtesy of the upcoming National Geographic documentary “Apollo: Missions to the Moon” and James Everingham. Working in collaboration with Hans Zimmer and Bleeding Fingers Music, Everingham has put together a lofty accompaniment to the documentary, which follows the history of the American Apollo program both before and after the historic July 1969 moon landing.
IndieWire has a first-listen chance to hear music from the film below.
If you listen closely to the film’s full score, you may catch something that caught “Apollo: Mission to the Moon” director Tom Jennings by surprise.
“If you notice throughout the film, there’s a beeping sometimes through these major moments. I said to the composers, ‘Wow, that’s very clever that you would create something like Sputnik, to tie everything together going back to the beginning.’ They said, ‘Oh, that is Sputnik. We didn’t make that up. That’s the 1957 recording,'” Jennings told IndieWire. “The idea was that, even though the space race kind of fades away in the storytelling because it’s all about the adventure of getting [to the moon], it was their musical reminder that there’s this Russian presence almost over our shoulder the whole time.”
The in the selection below, you can listen to four tracks from the film’s score. “Magnificent Desolation” represents a kind of overview of the various Apollo mission breakthroughs and moments of resiliency. “Eagle as Landed” takes the audience through the nail-biting final descent to the lunar surface during Apollo 11, while “Against the Florida Sky” combines all the intense, complex emotions that come with a mission launch. Then, “Missions to the Moon” somehow weaves together all those competing feelings into a kind of emphatic triumphant Apollo theme.
Utilizing some of the recognizable Bleeding Fingers style of a pulsating, powerful undertone with soaring strings and brass, it’s the kind of music you’d expect to accompany something as majestic as a quest for the moon.
The full soundtrack to the film will be available this Friday, July 5. “Apollo: Mission to the Moon” airs Sunday, July 7 on National Geographic.