Audio Technology


Peter Weir’s film Picnic at Hanging Rock is one of those monolithic, unimpeachable icons of Australian creativity. Whether you like it or not, it doesn’t matter. It’s become so legendary that like the rock itself, it’s unmovable, fixed into the landscape of Australian art.

So what do you do when you’re asked to mess with the untouchable? When Jan Skubiszewski was commissioned to compose the music for a Foxtel series of the same name, he was wondering a similar thing. The pan pipes theme of the original were ringing crystal clear in his mind. They were as integral to Weir’s chilling weirdness as the dubbed voices and soft focus of the wedding veil draped over the camera lens. But… don’t tell anyone… he never really liked the score. Naturally, he was relieved when a single stipulation came through from the producers: steer clear of pan pipes.


Jan Skubiszewski is pretty familiar with the actual Hanging Rock. It’s close enough to his home at the doorstep of the Macedon Ranges that his young family goes on the odd walk there. He’s also familiar with well-known Australian scores. His father, Cezary, has been composing for decades, writing scores for films like Red Dog, The Sapphires, and Two Hands (which he co-wrote with Jan). He and Jan collaborated on the score for , too.

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