We’ve heard of composers employing strange and macabre instruments for genre projects before (Daniel Licht’s work on “Dexter” comes to mind), but they’ve got nothing on Marco Beltrami, who used animal bones and other assorted oddities to convey horror in the score for World War Z.
From the Press Release:
Composer Marco Beltrami is bringing the clacking of teeth and the wailing of sirens to his score for World War Z, in theaters June 21, 2013. The story of the zombie apocalypse, World War Z stars Brad Pitt, James Badge Dale, and Mireille Emos. Beltrami based all the melody, harmony, and rhythm of the score on the U.S. Emergency Broadcast System signal siren and then incorporated non-traditional percussive elements, like the sound of animal skulls and teeth being mashed together, creating an atypical sonic palette, blending the rhythms of bone-on-bone with a full orchestra. The score album for World War Z will be released on Warner Bros. Records on June 18, 2013.
Beltrami recorded the animal skulls, as well as a full orchestra, at Abbey Road Studios and mixed at British Grove Studios in London. Regarding this inventive percussive device, Beltrami comments, “The sound of the skull became the basis for the percussion in the score…it added a new intensity.” As an award-winning composer who built his reputation as a genre innovator with non-traditional horror scores for the Scream franchise and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Beltrami built a layered, grisly rhythmic foundation for multiple themes representing various tangents explored in the film, including the terror of the pandemic and the comfort of family.
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Marco Beltrami has received two Oscar nominations for Best Original Score, for Hurt Locker and 3:10 to Yuma. He has received two Critics’ Choice Award nominations, and he was Emmy nominated for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series for “The Practice.” Last year he won the Golden Satellite Award for Best Score from The International Press Academy for Soul Surfer. Beltrami is currently scoring The Wolverine and Snowpiercer, both to be released later this year.
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