Found objects are sometimes used in music, often to add unusual percussive elements to a work. Their use in such contexts is as old as music itself, as the original invention of musical instruments almost certainly developed from the sounds of natural objects rather than from any specifically designed instruments.
I’ve heard of using objects as instruments before, but seeing it in reality during a presentation at Disney Toon Studios for the Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast Press Day was an eye opening experience. Music supervisor Brett Swain and Featured Musical artist Bleu McAuley explained how even a trip to Home Depot was used to find the sound of Gruff the Neverbeast. As Bleu said, “one of the wonderful things we stumbled upon are these planters from the store.”
Let’s backtrack. Steve the director was a huge fan of Bleu and reached out to him specifically for this project. He wanted something unique. He wanted to make sure that this was something that you hadn’t experienced before. So Bleu began coming up with a unique sound color palette. Even the words “sound color palette” brings a beautiful vision to your head.
They wanted to create as Brett said, “something melodically different for these characters but just something that was sonically different so that the minute you heard that sound versus hearing a melody or a tune you would know that it’s associated with that character.”
Take a look at Bleu in action showing us how he used the planters for Gruff.
“As you can hear they all have a unique pitch to them. We got dozens of pots of all different sorts. They have a lot of overtones and they’re kind of dissonant. We ended up using a lot of these in some of the more eerie scenes”, Bleu stated.
Don’t just take my word for it. Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast is out on Blu-ray, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere!