Composer Daniel Hart’s profoundly moving song “I Get Overwhelmed” plays a pivotal role in writer/director David Lowery’s new film “A Ghost Story,” starring two-time Oscar nominated Rooney Mara and this year’s Best Actor Academy Award winner, Casey Affleck, and set for a July 7 release (A24). The evocative and haunting song, performed by Hart’s band Dark Rooms, provides the music bed for the film’s trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_3NMtxeyfk
According to Lowery (Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon,” “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), the film’s cast and crew were about three months away from shooting the film, the thirty-page script was mostly complete, and they were scouting locations when Hart sent him “I Get Overwhelmed.” “I was immediately obsessed with it,” said Lowery. “I listened to it over and over again, in the car, at home. After about three days of this, I called Daniel and asked if I could use the song in ‘A Ghost Story.'”
Lowery then wrote a new scene for the film, a scene that became the heart of the movie, with “I Get Overwhelmed” at its core. In the film, Affleck’s character, “C,” is a songwriter who wrote the song for Mara’s character “M.” With “M” donning headphones and hearing the song for the first time. Lowery shot the scene in one, long, five-minute take with “I Get Overwhelmed” playing all the way through, from beginning to end.
“I don’t want to say that the song informs the rest of the score,” Lowery added, “because it doesn’t. But listen closely and you’ll hear little seeds of it scattered throughout this mesmerizing suite of music. As always, Daniel took my disparate suggestions and interpreted them as he saw fit. That’s why I work with him. His cues always transform our collaborations; in this case they pump quite a bit of extra life and heart into our melancholy bedsheet, and in the process make the prospect of eternity just a little bit less overwhelming.”
Hart, who composed all of the music for “A Ghost Story,” also scored Lowery’s “Pete’s Dragon” and “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.” “David and I have now collaborated on every film he has made. His aesthetic vision for filmmaking is one which I feel an inherent connection to and always have. His vision for storytelling feels incredibly sincere to me, and that sincerity strikes right at my heart in a way that makes me want to engage creatively, to embrace that sincerity musically, to help tell that same story.”
Beyond scoring Lowery’s films, Hart wrote and performed the music for S*Town Podcast from This American Life, and has toured and recorded with bands like St. Vincent, Other Lives, The Rosebuds, Broken Social Scene, John Vanderslice, and The Polyphonic Spree. His band, Dark Rooms, will release its second album in August, and will tour the U.S. and Europe this fall in conjunction with the release of “A Ghost Story.”