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Grammy winner Sam Slater on scoring music for ‘The Railway Men’

The Railway Men, which is created under the banner of YRF Entertainment is out on Netflix on November 18.

Sam Slater (Image source: X)

By: Mohnish Singh

Two-time Grammy Award-winning music producer and composer, Sam Slater has received overwhelming praise for his original score in the global blockbuster series The Railway Men.

The successful four-part mini-series is being praised for a variety of reasons, one of which being the music and original score composed by Sam Slater of Joker and Chernobyl fame.

Sam opened up about the massive human loss caused by the Bhopal gas disaster in 1984, and he composed music to try to recreate the sadness and grief that people felt on that terrible night in Bhopal.

Sam said in a statement, “When I was working on The Railway Men, I had known about the Bhopal gas disaster but only in an academic sense. I never really investigated it or understood it holistically. Through this series, I was able to understand more about what happened and the number of people whose lives were lost and impacted. It left me heartbroken and quite angered. I wanted to make sure that the music itself had that darkness and that anger in it.”

He emphasised how The Railway Men‘s immersive music had to be distinct from the music heard and experienced in Chernobyl.

Sam said, “Chernobyl had a very specific framing, it was entirely made with recordings from a nuclear reactor in Chernobyl. When we began working on The Railway Men, we were using very different source materials. That already meant the colours were very different. Furthermore, as we got into the series, we realized how much more energy and how much drive the railway men had on that night and that became a driver for us to compose music.”

He added, “It starts as a drama, but it ends as a thriller. It needed much more action in the music to do this. So, the kinds of sounds we were using and the music we were writing very quickly became so different from anything that could have been in Chernobyl. And furthermore, just the air and Bhopal, as it’s being depicted in this story, is so different than 1980s Ukraine.”

Talking about the series, the four-episode series is set against the backdrop of the Bhopal Gas Leak, the world’s worst industrial disaster. Inspired by true stories, The Railway Men is an account of courage and a salute to humanity. It offers a poignant narrative of the unsung heroes – the railway employees of India – who went beyond their call of duty, trying to save the lives of hundreds of innocent citizens trapped in a helpless city.

In the late hours of December 2, 1984, methyl isocyanate gas leaked from a pesticide factory owned by the American Union Carbide Corporation.

It has been reported that more than half a million people were poisoned that night and the official death toll exceeded 5,000.

The Railway Men, which is created under the banner of YRF Entertainment is out on Netflix on November 18.

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