The Big Score (Weekly)

 – Composers and producers who’ve given the golden age of TV and Film it’s shine.


In celebration of some of the most exciting films and television programs and the pioneering work of those involved in them in contemporary cinema, G4me0ver is proud to present ‘The Big Score’. A celebration of those very often (ahem) unsung heroes of the screen, composers and producers, the serial will feature both the work of up-and-coming artists, as well as some of the more household names on the scene. Enjoy!

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Mark Korven

The Canadian born musician and composer Mark Korven was until recently most well known for his work on the 1997 Sci-Fi cult classic Cube. A Kafkaesque, suspense filled nightmare series of challenges falling somewhere between The Crystal Maze and Saw, the film is widely regarded as a huge success of it’s time, and not least because of it’s eery and disjointed accompanying score. Chock with strange tempo changes and atmospheric experimental horror, the theme builds in echoes and falls with a part industrial / part classical tinge, it’s an accomplished work by a very interesting artist. markkorven3

More recently the Winnipeg native (also the home of seminal avante-garde break-core producer Venetian Snares) has made it back onto the big screen with the accompanying soundtrack to the 2015 period horror The Witch, again proving that, especially within the Horror genre, atmosphere and anticipation is all a good director needs in order to give his audience the chills. Director Robert Eggers’ debut is a film which boasts authenticity within its timed setting above all else, and breathes real life into it’s puritanical ensemble cast. It relies on its attention to detail, drawing on everything from the stars using unwieldy hand tools and real livestock to living in a hastily built (because of a speedy filming schedule) accurate 1600s cottage set amidst the darkness of an untouched forest. Not relying on cheap jump-scares like so many modern horrors do, The Witch instead invites us to flinch in the face of snappy scene transition and the stalking ebbs and flows of the original score.
markkorven1The Witch OST as a result of Korven and Eggers collaboration is one of the finest pieces of recondite composition in modern cinema. Completely shunning the use of all electronic equalisation in both the soundtrack and post production, it’s entirely acoustic, minimalist delivery leaves in all of the imperfections of the human hand, an ever present theme of the film itself. Employing a Swedish nyckelharpa (a medieval keyed violin), a megabass waterphone and an old, cheap cello and leaving in any mistakes or squeaks, what Korven has managed to create is something truly dissonant, unsettling, hellish even. Heavily tense and with the accompaniment of the Toronto Element Choir, The Witch soundtrack is a truly unique art-house offering, and a perfect match for Eggers vision.

Privately, Korven has put his name to over sixty different scores, as well as his solo projects, and if he’s become typecast for a specific genre there’s a very good reason, and it’s that very few people create atmosphere like he does. His eighties album Ordinary Man, by contrast is a soulful and layered progressive Phil Collins-esque labor of love with heartfelt lyrics and multi-instrumental soul that falls nothing short of inspirational (and also like it should feature heavily in something like Cocktail). Despite it’s limited release in the UK if you don’t download it, it’s a nice juxtaposition from his staple brand of terror inducing angst that will leave you wondering if it’s even the same man. Well worth a listen.

 

 


– Max Colbert

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