Art & Entertainment

Sam Slater On Composing Score For 'The Railway Men': Wanted To Make Sure Music Had That Darkness

Two-time Grammy-winning composer Sam Slater says he was left "heartbroken and angered" by the loss of life during the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster and his music for "The Railway Men" reflects that anger and darkness.

Music producer and composer Sam Slater
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Two-time Grammy-winning composer Sam Slater says he was left "heartbroken and angered" by the loss of life during the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster and his music for "The Railway Men" reflects that anger and darkness.

Slater has worked as a score producer on the 2019 Hollywood film "Joker" AS well as HBO's global hit "Chernobyl", about the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Ukraine), which, like Bhopal gas tragedy, is considered one of the worst man-made disasters.

"When I was working on 'The Railway Men', I had known about the Bhopal gas disaster but only in an academic sense. I never really investigated it or understood it holistically.

"Through this series, I was able to understand more about what happened and the number of people whose lives were lost and impacted. It left me heartbroken and quite angered. I wanted to make sure that the music itself had that darkness and that anger in it," he said in a statement.

"The Railway Men", starring R Madhavan, Kay Kay Menon, Divyenndu, Babil Khan, Juhi Chawla, and Mandira Bedi, is produced under a partnership between Netflix & YRF Entertainment and narrates the story of the railway workers who risked their lives to save people when following a deadly gas leak at a factory in Bhopal.

The series is a work of fiction but inspired by true events, according to the makers.

More than 3,000 people were killed on the night of December 2, 1984 due to the leakage of toxic Methyl Isocyanate gas from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal.

Slater said the immersive music of "The Railway Men" is different from the music of "Chernobyl", he said.

"'Chernobyl' had a very specific framing, it was entirely made with recordings from a nuclear reactor in Chernobyl. When we began working on 'The Railway Men', we were using very different source material.

"That already meant the colours were very different. Furthermore, as we got into the series, we realised how much more energy and how much drive the railway men had on that night and that became a driver for us to compose music. It starts as a drama, but it ends as a thriller," he added.

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