Behind the Music of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

Source: Far Out.

Of course, Richard Strauss’ 1896 tone poem isn’t the only memorable cue from 2001. There’s also the music of Hungarian avant-garde composer György Ligeti. According to Benson, “that movie would not be remotely the same if Kubrick hadn’t stumbled on, via his wife and [visual effects designer] Con Pederson’s wife, this Ligeti music,” he commented. “Christiane Kubrick and Con’s wife [Charleen Pederson] were working together, making sculptures of aliens for Stanley. We’re talking now fall of ’67. They were listening to the BBC, and on came this music, which was so unearthly and spooky and powerful and majestic that they immediately had to find out what it was”. They waited in hushed anticipation for the host to announce Ligeti’s name “but it took [Kubrick] weeks to hear the piece because Ligeti was almost completely unknown then,” Benson added.