Music has been a constant in human history, an intermingling of voice and instrument that for all its local variation and increasing sophistication nevertheless endured in more or less the same form for centuries. Then came recording––and music was forever transformed. Soundbreaking, an eight-part event television series, traces this ongoing sonic revolution, and explores the nexus of cutting-edge technology and human artistry that has created the soundtrack of our lives.
Featuring more than 160 original interviews with some of the most celebrated recording artists, producers, and music industry pioneers of all time, Soundbreaking charts a century’s worth of innovation and experimentation, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of brand new sounds. From the Beatles’ groundbreaking use of multi-track technology to the synthesized stylings of Stevie Wonder, from disco-era drum machines to the modern art of sampling, the series highlights the dynamic tension between the artificial and the natural––between the man-made and the god-given––and explores the way in which that tension has continuously redefined not only what we listen to and how we listen to it, but our very sense of what music is and can be. In the end, Soundbreaking makes us hear the songs we love in a whole new way, and illuminates the sonic alchemy by which the music we listen to becomes a fundamental part of who we are.
“Music is the only common thread and universal language that binds us together regardless of race, nationality, age or income. And, recorded music is how we experience it and what makes it accessible. Through the production of Soundbreaking, I was afforded the opportunity to tell the story of the creative process of so many of the artists I have worked with throughout my life” – Sir George Martin.
With the passing of Sir George Martin, the world lost a remarkable human being who touched so many people. His inspiration, vision and genius was behind some the world’s most beloved music – music that continues to shape our lives. The timing of his passing was particularly poignant for us as it came only six days before the premiere of Sir George’s last, and one of his most personal, projects – Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music.
Sir George Martin believed that the remarkable evolution of recording technology is one of the most important stories of the twentieth century that has never been told. Soundbreaking tells that story, and appropriately, will now serve as one of the many ways the world can celebrate the life and legacy of Sir George Martin.
Higher Ground is the creator of the Soundbreaking entertainment brand. The firm was founded by David H. Langstaff and a small group of music lovers to produce the Soundbreaking project, which grew out of a relationship between Sir George Martin and the Langstaff family. Through Soundbreaking, Higher Ground aims to educate audiences on the relatively brief history of sound recording – just over one hundred years – which is one of the most important stories of the twentieth century.
Show of Force has demonstrated a knack for taking on wildly ambitious subjects, and Soundbreaking certainly falls into that category. The series was a labor of love and was made possible thanks to the tremendous talent of a fantastic team of filmmakers.
Founded in 2006 by veteran film and television producers Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre, Show of Force is known for creating award-winning feature documentaries, event television series and groundbreaking transmedia projects. Their work includes the Peabody and Emmy Award- winning Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present for HBO, Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace, the 2014 SXSW Jury Prize winner for Best Documentary Short; Mann v. Ford, a feature-length documentary for HBO; the 6-hour PBS series Circus; and the Emmy Award-winning 10-hour PBS series Carrier. Their projects A Path Appears and Emmy Honors recipient Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, based on the bestselling books by the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, were broadcast on PBS/Independent Lens. www.showofforce.com.
Access a full list of production credits here.
Original concept created by Maxim Langstaff for Wildheart Entertainment.