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The Last Artifact

Feature Documentary (2020) 1 x 60 min

PBS International & Smithsonian Museum

Directors: Jaime Jackobsen and Ed Watkins


The Last Artifact is a feature documentary about the international race to redefine the standard for the kilogram.
The Last Artifact
Recording the soundtrack for The Last Artifact


Q&A with Sheridan


What was you favorite part of working on the TLA documentary?


My favorite part of working on the the The Last Artifact was trying to find a way through my music to help tell the amazing story. When I begin a project I always try and find a way for the music to relate to the film. In the Last Artifact I wanted to create a ‘sound world’ that sounded like an old mechanical machine, something that you would find in an old European museum or science lab.


The idea came to me when I viewed the scene of the French scientist walking though the old Parisian  laboratories looking for the original kilogram weights from the 1800s. Everything looked so old and mechanical. I began to compose some cues that featured metallic percussion, chimes and objects. I wanted some of my music to sound like an old quirky mechanical machine. When I put these cues up against scenes from the film there was a beautiful chemistry and it created a wonderful cohesiveness of the old and the new.


These scientists were pushing the boundaries of science but yet all their work has stemmed from a long past and science tradition, and now my music was also helping to tell that story.


Why did you want to work on this film?


One of the reasons that I choose to work on The Last Artifact film was that I had never scored a film in this music style before, and that really appealed to me…could I rise to the challenge? I wanted to compose an upbeat quirky rustic soundtrack for the film. You have some of the world’s top scientists working in teams all over the planet on this very important job of redefining the kilogram…but if can all be underscored musically with ukuleles, harp, marimba, metallic percussion then that would just be so much fun and compelling!


Working with Jaime Jacobsen and Ed Watkins on this film was a real joy for me, when I sent in my music ideas and sketches they always went down very well. It encouraged me to push the boundaries even further! This project was a lot of fun and I hope that comes across in my music when people view the finished film.


The film should be available to view in all territories in 2020.


The Last Artifact
Various percussion instruments used in the soundtrack.
Watch the trailer here: