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How Antonio Sanchez improvised the "Birdman" soundtrack




Michael Keaton as “Riggan” in
Michael Keaton as “Riggan” in "Birdman."
Courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures

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"Birdman" - the latest work from Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu - is a very different movie in many ways, including the actors it employs, the visuals it includes and, in particular, the score throughout the film. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E31lXE0zmJ8

Where many directors opt for huge orchestras to create sweeping musical backdrops, Iñárritu decided to go a different route. Nearly the entire score comes from just one instrument - the drum. 

https://soundcloud.com/milanrecords/antonio-sanchez-strut-part-ii-from-birdman-ost

The man behind those beats is Antonio Sanchez, who improvised the entire thing. He recently took a break from his other job - touring with jazz legend Pat Metheny to talk with Alex Cohen about his work on the film.