As the world’s first science fiction film, Georges Melies’ Le Voyage Dans La Lune stunned the audiences of 1902 with state of the art techniques and unique creativity. All of the surviving copies of Le Voyage… were thought to be in black and white, it wasn’t until 1993 that a colour copy was found in Barcelona. After 12 years of painstaking restoration on over 14,000 individual frames the film was successfully reconstructed last year but the producers wanted to take this a step further and attach a modern score to the renowned classic. So given their nationality and tendency for cosmic legato’s, it seems Air were the obvious choice.
Initially a simple soundtrack, the duo’s original composition only lasted the short duration of the film but they were so engrossed by their work that they decided to expand their efforts into a full scale LP. As with all their previous albums this one is undeniably spacey, only now that element is more relevant than ever. Aside from the usual trippy guitar work and elegant piano loops, Le Voyage… features a heavy amount of timpani drums – giving the record a serious amount of epic boom. Still, considering the nature of the album Air could have adopted a far grander sound. Instead they’ve kept everything accessible and unmistakeably Airy. When it came to the vocals they chose wisely. Beach House’s Victoria Legrand donates her sultry voice for ‘Seven Stars’. She fits so snugly into the track that it’s as if she’s been secretly reared by Air above some disused boulangerie; she knows their ways. ‘Who Am I Now’ is unfortunately the weaker of the two vbut it does have a haunting input from Au Revoir Simone who’s melancholic voices give the impression of an eerie nursery rhyme.
On it’s own, Le Voyage Dans La Lune stands fairly tall, although knowing it’s origins does tend to add a grander weight to the recording. Like most soundtracks, however, to get the full effect you’ll need to see the film that goes along with it and in this case that might be easier said than done.