Return to Zero
‘Return to Zero’ is based on the autobiographical, true story of a successful couple preparing for the arrival of their first child. Just weeks before their due date they discover that their son has died in the womb and will be stillborn. Lives and relationship forever altered by the loss, they try to cope through denial, escape, alcohol and an affair, but nothing can save their marriage. And that’s when they discover that they’re again pregnant (from a last ditch ‘save the marriage’ getaway to Las Vegas), and must come together to face a turbulent and terrifying pregnancy.
“‘Return to Zero’ was driven by the need for a palette that was simple and sparse at times but still deep and resonant. Ambient and airy tones with live strings were my choice with a bit of an “electronic” departure from the score for Aaron’s relationship with his co-worker Dana. The music for them is intentionally hollow in comparison to the music for his relationship with Maggie. I always use a bit of electronica with live instruments in my scores but this was a separate gesture intentionally.
The score comes to a climax with the birthing of their stillborn child. It is still the most emotional experience I’ve ever had as a composer. How do you write music for the birth of a stillborn child without it sounding maudlin and manipulative? This is every parent’s nightmare and a real issue for too many couples so I was very careful to tread lightly. It was exhausting but a deeply moving experience for me. John Kurlander’s engineering was so helpful in getting the right sound for this film.” – James T. Sale