Lakeshore Records has released the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for the RLJE Films family adventure film The Water Man—acclaimed actor David Oyelowo’s directorial debut. The album is comprised of an ethereal original score from Belgian composer Peter Baert, also making a debut with his first composition for a major Hollywood feature. The soundtrack also features two original songs written and performed by Jessica Oyelowo, including the end credits song “My Son.” The Water Man soundtrack is available digitally today, May 7, alongside the film’s U.S. theatrical release.
The music of The Water Man is a mix of classical orchestra, piano, percussion, and electronics. Peter felt the score should follow the journey of the main character Gunner, going on quest into the woods to save his ill mother. He processed the Water Man’s screams and sighs through long delays, modular tools, and tape echoes to create “The Water Man Synth.” When David proposed a motherly energy to be present in the music, Peter worked with a vocalist, who has a similar timbre of the mother (Rosario Dawson), and created “The Mother Synth.”
David Oyelowo says, “Music and sound in film has always been important to me, which is why I consider myself lucky to have met composer Peter Baert when I did. We first crossed paths when he was the sound engineer on another project I was working on in Belgium, and he had previously shared a music demo of his compositions that I just couldn’t shake. While in post-production on The Water Man, I was working with another composer and had initially cut Peter’s music in as an experiment, and it all just worked perfectly. Within a week, he flew over, sat next to me in the edit, and that's how he became my composer. He'd never done an English-speaking film before, and he totally nailed the tone. We recorded and mixed at Galaxy, and did all the sound design and mixing at Sony and re-recording at Deluxe Hollywood.”
Peter Baert on his collaboration experience: “David Oyelowo is such a wonderful human being and a gifted storyteller. He took a giant leap in choosing me as a composer and I felt his trust and guidance throughout the time we worked together. Being present for a short time in the editing room with David and editor Blu Murray was such a wonderful experience—I felt part of something bigger.”
Of his musical inspirations, Baert says: “The heartfelt story of The Water Man took me back to two periods in my life. The first reminded me of being in my early teens, always playing in the neighborhood with my friends and going on adventures in a nearby forest. The second transported me back to a day in 2008 when my mom and I found out the diagnosis of her pancreatic cancer. She would be gone in 6 months. At some moment during the composing process the music found me, and it glued to the screen. This beautiful story reflects what I experienced in real life—that it is sometimes better to let go and cherish the time we have, than to hold on at all costs.”
ABOUT PETER BAERT... Bringing a refreshing sonic architecture in a diverse body of work spanning across film, television, and commercial work, Belgian-born composer Peter Baert’s talents also encompass orchestration, electronic music, and music production.
After creating a 30-minute-long demo for Golden Globe-nominated David Oyelowo years previously, Baert recently scored the Selma actor’s directorial debut feature The Water Man, co-produced by Oprah Winfrey, which was orchestrated by Matt Dunkley and recorded in a special set up within Galaxy Studios in Belgium during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Water Man is now playing in U.S. theaters and will be available internationally on Netflix later this year. Baert is currently scoring Lost Luggage, a Belgian prime-time fictional series based on the 2016 Brussels bombings.
In 2018, he scored the Ensor Award-winning documentary exposé Breathless about the hazardous but surprisingly still booming asbestos industry, as well as the 2017 Belgian film Façades, directed by Kaat Beels & Nathalie Basteyns, which was pre-selected for the European Composer Awards and was also nominated for an Ensor Award.
In 2006, Baert co-founded Raygun—a commercial sound studio in Brussels working in advertising, television, and film; which he owns and runs together with his wife Liesbeth. He is also the proud father of three daughters.
For more information visit: www.lakeshorerecords.com
Jeremy [Six Strings]