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Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

IUPUI Professor’s musical recording finds its way into the Oscar nominated movie The Revenant

February 25, 2016

Stuart Gerber and Scott Deal in recording session for Qilyaun

Stuart Gerber and Scott Deal in recording session for Qilyaun

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INDIANAPOLIS -- A musical recording by an Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis faculty member is featured in the Oscar-nominated movie "The Revenant."

Scott Deal, a professor of music in the Department of Music and Arts Technology in the School of Engineering and Technology and director of The Donald Tavel Arts and Technology Research Center, and a colleague recorded the drum piece "Qilyaun" in 2004. At that time, Deal was teaching at the University of Alaska. The piece had been commissioned by the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra and written by John Luther Adams, an Alaskan composer.

Qilyaun Group Left to right: Scott Deal, John Luther Adams, Stuart Gerber. Scott and Stuart recorded Qilyaun, composed by Adams.

Their recording of "Qilyaun" was released on a CD in 2007.

Last year, the director of "The Revenant," Alejandro Iñárritu, was searching for music for the film when he asked Adams if he could look through his music catalog. The director selected the drum piece recording along with another work by Adams.

That selection came as a surprise when Deal and his wife, Clara, saw the film in the theater.

"I had an eerie feeling that I recognized some of the music in the movie as I watched it, but I didn't give it a second thought," Deal said. "My wife always likes to watch the film credits at the end of a movie, and this time her credit-reading habit paid off. While watching the credits, Clara grabbed my arm and said, 'There's 'Qilyaun'!'"

The drum piece is played for about five minutes in the first battle scene of the movie.

Deal and his wife will be rooting for "The Revenant," leading with 12 nominations, during the 88th Academy Awards ceremony Sunday, Feb. 28.