“I have been compromised. I am now fighting against it.” Ligeti vs. Kubrick and the music for 2001: A Space Odyssey
Keywords:2001: A Space Odyssey, Ligeti, Kubrick, lawsuit
Since the release of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968, there have been several different accounts of how György Ligeti’s music (Requiem, Atmosphères, Lux Aeterna and Aventures) came to be in Kubrick’s film and much discussion as to whether Ligeti had been treated fairly. One often repeated version asserts that his works were used without permission and that he got only $3,000 in the end. With the help of contemporary witnesses, letters and previously unexploited papers from the György Ligeti collection at the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel (Switzerland), as well as the findings of Other Author, this article tries to reconstruct the events and traces Ligeti’s legal steps, simultaneously looking at the composer’s changing attitudes towards the film over the years.
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