Music Videos for Imogen Heap's Original Score for The Happiest Place Go Live!

What happened when Grammy award-winning producer and musician Imogen Heap hiked the Bhutanese Himalayas with The Happiest Place film team - then got her hands hundreds of hours of sound samples from this remote Buddhist Kingdom? Something beautiful.

Imogen Heap wrote two striking pieces of music for The Happiest Place film score, Cycle Song and Climb to Sakteng, which will be featured in the film and on her upcoming album called Sparks.

A few months ago, Imogen asked us if we would be interested in cutting music videos for the tracks using footage from the film - and today, we're excited to announce that the videos have just gone live!

The first track, Cycle Song was built almost entirely using samples from Bhutan - from temple bells to the drone of chanting nuns.  The track can be seen as a bright, high-energy exploration of the cycles of life in a country poised between the ancient and the modern:

"Cycle Song" from The Happiest Place Film

The second, "Climb to Sakteng", was written for a segment at the end of our 500-mile expedition as we approached the Eastern-most village in Bhutan, Sakteng.  As we hiked the 4,000 vertical feet to the village, we encountered Bhutanese villagers laboring to carry 400-pound power poles to their village, one-per-family, to bring electricity to their village:

"Climb to Sakteng" from The Happiest Place film

Culture blog Refinery29 has an exclusive profile of CycleSong the and VICE's Noisey featured Climb to Sakteng.

When asked about the inspiration behind Cycle Song in a feature for Refinery 29, Heap explained:

The first of two works appearing on the album were written for The Happiest Place, a documentary looking into Bhutan through the eyes of filmmaker Ben Henretig. I was lucky enough to join Ben and a group of people on one of these incredible journeys. I was utterly inspired during and after my trek through the Himalayas by this magical country as it takes considered steps into the future with its rich culture and heritage firmly in tow. I wrote this energetic piece to accompany a cycling scene in the movie and it has a cyclical theme. Featuring vocals by the stunning bird-like dexterity of Sonam Dorji’s voice, whose day job is to record and protect all the folk songs from this country before all memory of them disappear. [The track also includes} sounds of temple bells, donkeys, nuns chanting, traditional drums driving us ahead
— Refinery29

And, if that's not enough, Imogen has also released a behind-the-scenes look at the songwriting process for both tracks:

We're still hard at work finishing post-production for The Happiest Place - set for premiere in 2015 - but these mini-releases are certainly a wonderful  shot in the arm!

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