Back in high school, a couple of stoner kids told me about something called Dark Side of the Rainbow. The legend goes if you synced up Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” with The Wizard of Oz there were all sorts of crazy things that lined up that were especially impressive if you were high-af. Of course it was all a coincidence, and you had to listen to the album more than once, but I have to admit it was kind of a cool idea.
Fast forward a few years, and I heard of another Pink Floyd synchronization that I thought was much more intriguing... It was said that the Floyd’s 23-minute opus “Echoes” synced up brilliantly with the final sequence of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey. Obviously, this was just another coincidence but I pulled up Final Cut and put the two together and was blown away by how well it worked. The musical transitions worked perfectly with the film, and seemed to even match the arc of Dr. Bowman’s journey. It was almost too good to be a coincidence.
A few years later I managed to get my hands on a 5.1 surround mix of “Echoes” and decided to make what I consider now to be the definitive version of the final sequence of Kubrick’s masterpiece. Honestly, at this point I prefer this to the original (don't @ me). Truly, you kind of have to experience it for yourself…
So to that end, I was going to upload it to YouTube, but rather than face the wrath of their content-ID system, and considering YouTube only supports stereo audio, I decided to host it elsewhere, and simply link to it here on my blog. Obviously there’s probably (nay, definitely) a bunch of legal issues here, and you should only download this if you own a copy of both the film and the album. I just did the tricky work for you. But grab it while you still can, because Roger is the kind of person who thinks he invented the chromatic scale so if he finds out I’m sure he’s going to be upset.
The file is an H.264 file that I encoded with Handbrake and uses AC3 audio to preserve the 5.1 surround audio. It’s been optimized for playback with the Apple TV because that’s what I have.
This is the ultimate ultimate trip.
But that’s not all! In order to modify the end credits I went hunting for the original typeface that Kubrick had used. To make a long story short, no one could really nail down exactly what was going on (it’s not quite Futura, it’s not quite Gill Sans), but a friendly typophile used the hi-resolution screen-grabs I had provided to build a custom typeface.
“Here’s the Space Odyssey font. I did not touch Futura for this one since I had everything I need for the font in the screen captures. One deviation I made from the screen grabs is the height of the A. In the screen grabs, the A is a bit lower than the other letters. I made it touch the caps height, the same as the other letters with the exception of the rouned letters which goes above the caps height and/or below the baseline. Let me know if you find anything that’s not right. BTW is autospaced and is not kerned.”
You can grab the typeface here.
Finally, if this makes you want to dig more into the making of 2001, you should download this incredible book “The Making of 2001” by Jerome Agel that some hero scanned a few years back (that was previously hosted on a Tumblr that has since died).