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About The Sound
Large's journey in GARDEN STATE takes place against a backdrop of soulful musical artists - some contemporary, some classic - that weave the story together.

"I was tipping my hat to films like THE GRADUATE, HAROLD AND MAUDE and EASY RIDER," says Braff. "What was so unique about those movies was that the music spoke of the time. In a way this film is a 'state of the union' of what's it like to be a 20-something guy in 2004 − at least the 20-something guy I was and a lot of my peers were. So this is essentially the soundtrack of my life now."

Given the film's limited budget, getting the rights to the songs, including songs by Coldplay, Simon & Garfunkel and Nick Drake, was no slam-dunk. "The sort of money that was originally quoted could have funded a few small independent pictures," says Braff. "I'm just thankful that after I showed them the sequences in which their songs were used, the artists or their estates, were generous enough to work within our budgets.” 

Other artists represented on the soundtrack include The Shins, Remy Zero, Colin Hay, Thievery Corporation and Zero 7. 

"The music Zach chose is poignant and cinematic and it has a rhythm," says music supervisor Amanda Scheer Demme. "It was a pure pleasure to facilitate and execute his vision." 

When it came to creating a score to supplement the songs, Braff turned to Chad Fischer, a singer-songwriter and record producer as well as a film composer. 

"I originally know Zach from his having chosen a song I wrote for the theme song for 'Scrubs,' says Fischer. "Then, when they were editing GARDEN STATE, Zach used a number of singer-songwriters whom I had produced including Colin Hay, Alexi Murdoch and Cary Brothers as the temp soundtrack."  In the end, many of those songs made it into the final mix, as did Fischer's production of the film's bittersweet finale, "Winding Road," written and performed by Braff's girlfriend, actress and songwriter Bonnie Somerville ("Friends,” "The O.C.”, "Grosse Pointe”). 

Fischer also provided spare underscoring that matched the rough, low-fi sound of the songs. "It's music that sounds like a song without the vocals," he says. "Lots of arpeggiated guitar chords and piano with the odd cello thrown in."


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