“We’ve got our Dragon!”: Alexander Abaturov über den Sound von „Paradise“

I really love working with the sound. I think it’s one of the most beloved parts of the process for me. I can spend
lots of time doing this, and it was great working with Myriam René on this project. I always say that the image is the
body of the film and sound is its soul, its spirit. It’s something you cannot touch or see, but it’s still physical, and you
need to feel it. I can tell you that one of the decisions was not to put music in the moments of danger, to let the
fire speak for itself. There was something we created with the musicians of Les Percussions de Strasbourg who
played different percussion instruments in a variety of interesting ways. For instance, I can say, without revealing
too much, that some of the ways of rubbing the percussion instruments can make the drum skin vibrate, creating
these roaring sounds. These sounds are almost as unpredictable as wildfires are. We wanted to create this feeling of
something physical that the drum skin makes when vibrating. And I remember the moment when we were recording
in Strasbourg, and I heard the sounds. I get goosebumps just talking about it. And I thought, “We’ve got our Dragon!”
Once we got our Dragon and other great material recorded with Les Percussions de Strasbourg, musicians and
composers from France, Benoît de Villeneuve, Benjamin Morando and Delphine Malausséna started working with it.
We called it tribal-futurism, and that’s where the magic began.


I decided not to use traditional Yakutian music or throat singing. We chose drums and percussion instruments
because there is something very old and ancestral to them. And it’s something we all share. The whole of humanity
plays drums. They are everywhere, they are present in every culture. Just like the fire, which created humanity,
literally. Using traditional or ethnic music would be too obvious. I didn’t want to exoticise these people. I wanted to say
that we are in it together.


The sound of the fire itself was sculpted by Myriam as it was not directly recorded. If you record it directly,
it would just be crackling and rumbling, that’s it. You cannot really record the fire (or the wind) easily because, well,
we are prisoners of the microphone. It is limited. So we were sculpting it.