The last project that legendary music producer George Martin worked on before his death last week was the PBS docu series “Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recording Music,” which screens at SXSW this week and premieres in November on PBS.
The first two installments of the eight-episode series screen today, Wednesday and Friday as part of the Austin festival’s “24 Beats Per Second” line-up. The series combines access to celebrated music artists, producers and innovators and rare archival studio footage for a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of brand new sounds. It will chronicle inventions like the microphone, Moog synthesizer, phonograph and digital streaming.
Martin is credited as the figure who made “Soundbreaking” come to life for producer-directors Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre of the New York-based production banner Show of Force. The series bows Nov. 14 on PBS.
Artists interviewed for “Soundbreaking” include Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Joni Mitchell, Roger Waters, Roger Daltrey, Linda Perry, Barry Gibb, Elton John, Debbie Harry, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart, Mark Knopfler, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Lindsey Buckingham, Rosanne Cash, Don Was and Steven Van Zandt.
” ‘Soundbreaking’ gives viewers a backstage pass with full access to some of the most ground-breaking moments in recorded music,” said Beth Hoppe, chief programming executive and g.m. of general audience programming at PBS. “It is a natural fit for our diverse, music-loving PBS audience. We look forward to sharing it with viewers in November, and we’re excited to give the SXSW community a first glimpse.”
Martin, the influential producer behind most of the Beatles’ recordings and many other hits, died March 8 at the age of 90.