IUPUI Professor Has Ties to Oscars

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IUPUI Professor Scott Deal (right) recorded the drum piece in 2004. IUPUI Professor Scott Deal (right) recorded the drum piece in 2004.

The film with the most nominations for this Sunday's Oscars features a musical recording by an IUPUI professor. Scott Deal, professor of music in the Department of Music and Arts Technology, recorded a drum piece called "Qilyaun," which can be heard in the film The Revenant.

Deal says he and a colleague recorded the piece in 2004, when he was teaching at the University of Alaska. It was commissioned by the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra and written by Alaskan composer John Luther Adams.

IUPUI says Alejandro Iñárritu, the director of The Revenant, asked to look through Adams' music catalog while searching for music for the film and selected "Qilyaun" and another recording. Deal says he didn't know the drum piece he recorded was in the film until he saw it in the theater.

"I had an eerie feeling that I recognized some of the music in the movie as I watched it, but I didn't give it a second thought," Deal said. "My wife always likes to watch the film credits at the end of a movie, and this time her credit-reading habit paid off. While watching the credits, Clara grabbed my arm and said, 'There's 'Qilyaun'!'"

The Revenant is nominated for 12 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

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