Max Rubell

Storytelling Through Music

Music for film, television, web content, video games, advertising, and other creative media.

The Fallout

Winner of the 2015 NYC Drone Film Festival

Media: Industrial Film

Instrumentation: Strings, Piano, Guitar, Electronics

Showcases: Space and Setting


Accompanying footage of the nuclear fallout at Chernobyl in Ukraine, the music is effective at both magnifying the stillness on the surface, while harnessing the unseen energy underneath.   Upper-keyboard piano with heavy convolution reverb instills a sense of vast emptiness and space, while underlying moving string chords (chock-full of parallel 4ths and 5ths) mirror the vertical rise of the drone.  Two kinds of visual energy — stillness and flying — are felt simultaneously.


Tonal ambiguity serves to avoid pigeon-holing the viewer's reaction.  The image itself inspires so many different kinds of feelings: hope, despair, beauty, loneliness, chaos, stillness — the scoring must be appropriately indeterminate to not limit the full scope of these reactions.  The fluid modal mixture of major and minor chords create a bittersweet sound that achieves such an effect: the tragedy of the event is colored by the beauty of persisting life.