Disney has been putting out a lot of 50th anniversary content out today, and my favorite so far is this sneak peek at the creation of the Epcot “Harmonious” soundtrack. Shawn Slater on the Disney Parks Blog says that the soundtrack for “Harmonious” was produced remotely “through more than 100 separate recording sessions in nine different countries and five states. In total, nearly 240 musicians, artists, composers, arrangers, cultural consultants, and vocalists contributed to the unique and wholly authentic sound of the show.”
There are new interpretations of Disney songs that will be performed in more than a dozen languages by singers around the globe. Some you may know the name of, some are “rising stars” who haven’t yet been heard by a global audience.
From the Disney Parks Blog:
Award-winning Puerto Rican artist Luis Fonsi, responsible for several global hits including “Despacito,” joins Mexican singer-songwriter Joy for a rousing, pan-Latin version of songs from “Coco” and “Saludos Amigos.” A fresh and vibrant arrangement of “Dig a Little Deeper” from “The Princess and the Frog” features vocalist Bryson Camper and legendary Gospel artists Karen Clark Sheard and Kierra Sheard, and musical selections from “Mulan,” “The Jungle Book,” and “Aladdin” are highlighted by the vocal talents of Wang Liuqi, Hollie Hammel, Aditya Rao, Gaayatri Kaundinya, Jorgie Shkara, and Sanaa Marahati.
The Ndlovu Youth Choir from Johannesburg contributes a medley of favorites from “The Lion King,” performed in both English and Zulu. We also hear a duet with French pop singer Damien Sargue, belting “Out There” from Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and the music of Disney and Pixar’s “Brave” gets a Celtic kick from the dueling violins of Grammy and Emmy-nominated violinist Máiréad Nesbitt and platinum-selling electronic artist, violinist, and multi-talented entertainer Lindsey Stirling.
Here’s a look at some of the amazing work that went on behind the scenes to create the music of “Harmonious.”
“Harmonious” opens with an inspiring medley of “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana” and “Go the Distance” from “Hercules,” performed by “American Idol” finalist and three-time Grammy nominee Danny Gokey and vocalists Elisha Garrett and Ninet Tayeb. The show builds to a finale that unites everyone around World Showcase and from around the world, as many of the musical artists come together to perform a poignant and powerful song, bringing “Harmonious” to an emotional close.
Throughout the soundtrack, there’s also a musical motif in the form of the soaring melody of composer Pinar Toprak’s new EPCOT anthem, and all these diverse pieces of music are artfully woven together by arranger Mark Hammond and Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Music Producer and Creative Director Yaron Spiwak. The resulting ensemble is a magnificent cultural symphony unlike anything heard before.