Everest Sunrise

“Everest Sunrise Mix” was used in the movie, What It Takes, a documentary which follows a few triathletes as they prepare for and compete in the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. Filmed in 2005, the documentary was released on DVD October 19, 2006.

The song began with the backing track. Below are some notes I made on it in January 2005. You can perhaps see why the filmmakers thought the music fitting for the grueling triathlon.

Concept: Climbing Everest. Long Hard Climb to the Top Of The World. No oxygen. Specifically thinking of Mallory and Irvine who died in an attempt to be the first to reach the summit. They disappeared without a trace and for 50 years no one knew what happened on that mountain. Then Mallory’s body was found; it was not on the route people expected and climbers now think they met with an accident on the way up and did not summit first. Mallory and Irvine were both young men. It was Mallory who when asked why climb Everest, replied famously, “Because it’s there.” I think this piece captures the difficulty, the breathlessness, the physical effort that the early explorers of Everest, like Mallory and Irvine and later, Hillary and Tsing Norgay, faced as they battled the elements and struggled to find a passable route to the top.

The backing track was submitted to an online collaboration site (which is now gone). Marty Keil added a lovely piano figure to the beginning of the track, expanding the concept to “Everest Sunrise”. It was this version—still unfinished, nothing more than a couple of musical ideas rubbing shoulders—that the filmmakers heard and decided to use for the scene in the movie of dawn on race day, with the triathletes on site, preparing.

Much to my surprise after the DVD came out I started getting requests for the song. I couldn’t release it “as is” because it wasn’t finished! So I asked Marty if he’d be interested in finishing it. He graciously and brilliantly completed the piano composition, so we now have a completed “Everest Sunrise” available for free download.