Written and directed by Kogonada, the critically acclaimed A24 sci-fi drama After Yang adapts Alexander Weinstein’s short story “Saying Goodbye to Yang” for the screen. Starring Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Justin H. Min, Malea Emma and Haley Lu Richardson, the film follows Jake, a father searching for a way to repair his daughter’s beloved robot companion named Yang after he unexpectedly malfunctions. Set to a poignant original score composed by Aska Matsumiya with an additional contribution by Ryuichi Sakamoto (“Memory Bank”), After Yang examines memories, technology, identity and what it means to be human in a digital age.
Inspired by the film’s futuristic setting and subject matter, Aska utilized A.I. technology throughout her scoring process, feeding both her own compositions and Sakamoto’s contribution into a special A.I.-driven software developed by Luke Fischbeck (of Lucky Dragons) that generated infinite musical variations. Several of the A.I.-generated variations were incorporated into the final score, with three tracks composed primarily by the technology. Of her scoring process, Aska says, “In terms of instrumentation, the score consists of piano, cello, marimbas and lots of synths. After speaking with director Kogonada, I think the concept was that we wanted to make sure that the sound was both new and futuristic, but also very human at the same time. We wanted to create a sort of paradox, echoing the sentiment that in the future, often what we actually want is to be more human and return to the essence of humanity. Which is why we ended up mixing the very human-like, warm instrumentation with the more futuristic synth work and A.I. variations.”
After Yang is now playing in theaters & on Showtime.