The Sounds of the Sounds of Science features 78 minutes of instrumental music by Yo La Tengo. The CD contains the entire score written and performed by the band to accompany eight legendary but rarely-seen undersea documentary shorts by influential French avant-garde filmmaker Jean Painlevé. Yo La Tengo’s score, which originally debuted on stage at the San Francisco Film Festival in April 2001 with the band providing live accompaniment to the films, echoes the films’ haunting surrealist imagery, yet the music is equally evocative on its own, from the dreamy soundscapes of “Sea Urchins” and “How Some Jellyfish Are Born” to the harsher, more dissonant moods of “Liquid Crystals” and “The Love Life of The Octopus.”
In September 2001, the group headed into a Nashville studio and laid down the complete score with longtime producer Roger Moutenot. The resulting album also features vibrant cover photos from the films, along with ominous and comforting illustrations by Jim Woodring and Jad Fair.
Also available as a digital download.