Tommy Lee Jones Recruited Son To Research Film Music
Tommy Lee Jones recruited his son as a music supervisor for his latest film The Homesman, because he needed someone to research the sounds of the era for the 19th century western.
The actor/director admits he was so impressed with his son's efforts, he also gave him a role in the film.
Jones explains, "He went through the archives of 19th century music that would've been expected in that part of the world. Austin Leonard Jones, who is the banjo player on the barge at the end of the movie, found some very important, rare old songs for us and he worked at that very hard."
And the film's official composer, Marco Beltrami, also aided the feel of the film by inventing instruments that helped to give the music an antique feel.
Jones adds, "We invented several different musical instruments to use. We had a thing called the wind piano. He bought an old upright piano and put it on a concrete platform and from the sound board on the back, he attached six wires and ran them across a creek 200 feet to a 25,000 gallon metal water tank, which was empty.
"He put the microphones inside the water tank, played the piano while the wind blew across the strings. It was a complicated instrument driven for the most part by the wind. And of course there's a lot of wind in the movie! You get sounds that are quite beautiful that no one's ever heard before because the instrument never existed.
"He was quite free in his composition... We had some beautiful images to supply him and the only assignment he had was to be original and have the beautiful music to go with it."