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How Jon Batiste Captured the Music of the Soul

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures


How Jon Batiste Captured the Music of the Soul

Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor, and Atticus Ross won Best Original Score at Sunday’s Academy Awards. Their film “Soul” follows Joe, a middle school band teacher on the verge of his big break as a jazz pianist. Check out the video above to see how the three composers captured the soul of “Soul.”

Pixar’s film uses music as a main character. For a jazz pianist like Joe, the beauty of music and of life are synonymous. Because of this, Pixar needed acclaimed jazz musician Jon Batiste to bring the score to life.

Batiste acted as a live action Joe Gardner on set. In addition to writing all the jazz pieces that are heard in the film, the animators also animated to his finger movements. So without Jon Batiste, Pixar’s “Soul” would be an entirely different film.

While the music of “Soul” introduces young audiences to the world of jazz, the film’s score doesn’t end there. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross did a beautiful job of creating the ethereal music of the soul or “before” world. Together these three wonderfully utilized music’s 12 notes to their fullest potential.

For a full in-depth behind the scenes into the creation of “Soul’s” score, check out the video above or click here.

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