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How Grammy-winner Sam Slater understood Bhopal gas tragedy

Two-time Grammy-winning music producer and composer Sam Slater was distraught by the incredible human loss caused by the gas tragedy in 1984

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Two-time Grammy-winning music producer and composer Sam Slater was distraught by the incredible human loss caused by the gas tragedy in 1984. The angst from then inspired him to create music for the Netflix series The Railway Men that tries to echo the darkness and loss that people felt on the fateful night in Bhopal.

The successful 4-part mini-series is being applauded for several reasons. One of the prominent features that stands out through the series is the music and the original score composed by Sam Slater of Joker and Chernobyl fame.

Sam Slater observed, “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.”

The Railway Men is Slater’s first Indian streaming series. He explains how the immersive music had to be different from the music in Chernobyl, the HBO mini TV series from 2019.

Netflix series The Railway Men
The Railway Men (Source: IMDb)

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.”

Grammy-winner Sam Slater added: “The series starts as a drama, but it ends as a thriller. It needed much more action in the music to do this. So, the kinds of sounds we were using and the music we were writing very quickly became so different to anything that could have been in Chernobyl. And furthermore, just the air and Bhopal, as it’s being depicted in this story, is so different than 1980s Ukraine.”

The series stars R. Madhavan, Kay Kay Menon, Divyenndu, Babil Khan, Juhi Chawla, Mandira Bedi, and others.

READ ALSO: Review: The Railway Men

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