Daniel Hart studied the sarangi, a South Asian stringed instrument, in India. He bristles when Armenian flute is used as a soundscape for images of the Middle East, because that sound belongs to Western Asia. Hart, whose primary instrument is the violin, has visited China four times while touring with acts like Broken Social Scene and St. Vincent. And when he’s on those tours, Hart – a vegetarian – eats a vegan diet.
Synergy, then, when director Christopher Quinn cold-called the composer to ask if he’d make music for the upcoming movie adaptation of Eating Animals. The book, by Jonathan Safran Foer, visits both India and China. Natalie Portman, who is a producer on the film, credits the book for her turn to veganism.
“I’ve only seen about 20 minutes of footage – I usually don’t start thinking about music this early in the process, but I am, with this one,” Hart says.
In addition to Portman, the documentary’s producers include Foer, Heretic Films, and a couple of internet exec types with ties to Twitter.
Hart’s best known in the film realm as the scoremaker for David Lowery’s southern Gothic crime drama Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, which earned awards at Sundance and other festivals. Hart makes his own music, too, with sultry outfit Dark Rooms and under his own name.
When Quinn began editing Eating Animals, he used Hart’s score from the Lowery short ‘Pioneer’ as temporary music.