WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leveraging the power of music to guide viewers through a unique perspective on planet Earth, National Geographic has partnered with multiplatinum, Grammy Award-winning artist, DJ, composer and producer Zedd and Universal Music Group & Brands to create an original composition for National Geographic’s upcoming series ONE STRANGE ROCK. The new 10-part series is hosted by Will Smith and produced by acclaimed filmmakers Darren Aronofsky and Jane Root and will premiere on National Geographic on March 26 at 10/9c.
The partnership, conceptualized and managed by Universal Music Group & Brands, also sees Nashville-based Evolve Studio handle production of the films featuring Zedd’s creative journey and performance.
ONE STRANGE ROCK is a visual journey that alternates from the microscopic to the cosmic and reveals our planet through an alien lens by integrating Aronofsky’s distinctive style with Root’s iconic storytelling. The series explores some of the questions many of us take for granted: Why is Earth the only planet (that we know of) to support life? How fragile are the perfectly tuned systems that sustain this living planet? What are the greatest threats to the environment and human existence on Earth? Are we alone, and where did we come from? Is there really no place like home?
Mirroring how ONE STRANGE ROCK unravels the story of our planet, we follow Zedd through an intimate lens over the course of his creative journey as he develops an original composition driven by the series’ different themes. National Geographic will release a series of four Zedd films, an interview and a behind-the-scenes look at Zedd’s recording process — culminating in a unique performance of the final track.
The first film will allow everyone to hear for the first time the original piece Zedd has composed based on ONE STRANGE ROCK. The track is cut to incredible footage from the show.
The second film captures Zedd’s absorbing conversation with astronaut Leland Melvin as he learns about space and ONE STRANGE ROCK, fueling his creative inspiration. Melvin is the only person drafted to play for the NFL who has flown to space. Having blasted off twice, he has logged more than 565 hours off Earth. Zedd also speaks with series composer Daniel Pemberton to better understand how he scored the series and use those insights for the composition. From there, Zedd composes a one-of-a-kind track that touches on the emotions evoked from the captivating imagery showcased in ONE STRANGE ROCK and explains how this drove him to experiment with sound.
The third film will show Zedd in his natural environment, the recording studio, where he composes and develops the track in real time. He shares his creative process and techniques, adding instrumentation and creating loops, giving the composition a melodic character.
The final film goes from the studio to the stage with a unique performance video that tells the story of ONE STRANGE ROCK by using cutting-edge technology to show the transformation and unexplainable wonder of our world.
Follow Zedd’s Vevo Account to see the full piece when it is released on April 6, 2018.
“I’ve always been a fan of Darren Aronofsky, and am really excited to partner with National Geographic to create an original composition for the series,” said Zedd. “I’ve immersed myself in the visual spectrum and am inspired to take on a different approach by experimenting with natural sounds and exploring grand themes that are representative of the world around us.”
Multiplatinum, Grammy Award-winning artist, DJ and producer Zedd made his debut with Clarity after signing with Interscope in 2012 and has been breaking down barriers surrounding music genres ever since. His current hit single, “The Middle,” with Maren Morris and Grey is No. 2 on Top 40 Radio in the U.S. and No.6 on the Billboard Hot 100. “The Middle” follows his 2017 hit singles “Get Low” with Liam Payne and “Stay” with Alessia Cara. “Stay” held the No. 1 spot at Top 40 Radio for six consecutive weeks and earned Zedd his second Grammy nomination. In 2015, Zedd released “True Colors,” which debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. Throughout his career, Zedd has worked with a diverse range of artists to create hits, including Hayley Williams on platinum hit “Stay the Night,” which racked up more than 400 million streams, and Selena Gomez on platinum track “I Want You to Know,” which spent four weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
About National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company. Find out more at http://www.universalmusic.com.
Nutopia is a leading television production company creating innovative, award-winning, premium content on a global scale. Founded in 2008 by Jane Root, former president of Discovery Channel US, controller of BBC2 and co-founder of Wall to Wall TV, Nutopia created the “mega doc” model, blending huge-scale history series and high-profile talent from the worlds of documentary and drama. In 2017, the company entered into a creative partnership with Academy Award®-nominated feature film producer Roast Beef. Nutopia has become synonymous with creating high-quality content that stands out from the crowd, working with some of the most prominent global broadcasters, including Netflix, CNN, National Geographic, the BBC, PBS and A+E Networks. Critical successes include the Emmy award-winning series “How We Got to Now,” two seasons of ratings smash “Finding Jesus. Faith. Fact. Forgery” and Emmy award-winning series “America the Story of Us” and “Mankind the Story of Us.” Upcoming projects include “Civilisations” for the BBC and PBS, and “Babies” for Netflix.
About Protozoa Pictures
Protozoa Pictures is Academy Award®-nominated director Darren Aronofsky’s production company. Founded in 1996, based in Brooklyn and headed by Aronofsky, partners are Ari Handel and Scott Franklin. The company has first-look deals with Paramount Pictures to develop films and Fox Networks Group to develop television. Credits include the critically acclaimed films “Mother!,” “Jackie,” “Noah,” “Black Swan,” “The Wrestler,” “The Fountain,” “Requiem for a Dream” and “π.” ONE STRANGE ROCK is Protozoa’s first television project to be aired. The next feature film to be released is “White Boy Rick,” directed by Yann Demange, starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Eddie Marsan, Bruce Dern, Brian Tyree Henry and Jonathan Majors. It will be released by Sony Pictures.