Day66 – Making the Music of the apocalypse

Music is a vital component to any media project, be it a film, advert, or even a computer game. It is a core component to setting the mood in most instances, so to finally get the opportunity to contribute to a project like this filled me up with excitement and OODLES of ideas.

A bit of background for me – I’ve been musically involved most of my life. I’ve been in various local bands and contributed to Beacon Productions for their TV Sci Fi series, The Adventures of Stephen Brown in 00’s. I am at my happiest behind my Nektar Panorama P6, Reason, and a vast bank of Native Instruments VSTs.

Russ and I go way back. School in fact. So to receive a script one day and be asked by one of my closest friends if I could do a soundtrack to his film, was not only an honour, but a sign of trust. No pressure then!

Horror is one of my favourite genres of film, as well as science fiction. I’m also an avid gamer, which means some heavy influence from that form of entertainment. So where did I want to take this?

I don’t know about you, but when I think zombies, I think 80s, John Carpenter. But I also wanted to experiment with influences from the likes of The Prodigy, Hans Zimmer (the Inception soundtrack is outstanding!), Boards of Canada, and anything else that creates tension, atmosphere and even dread.

My first priority was a theme. Something that is recognisable, something that when someone thinks Day66, they remember that little snippet of music. Taking the Inception soundtrack as an example, I’ll always remember the theme from that, and the build up near the end when the scenes cross over to each dream sequence. Nothing gave me goosebumps more at the time than that. Two evenings of work and bumping ideas to Russ, and I had come up with a delicate, piano sound, but added a subtle, reverse reverb to it to give it a little, to use a technical term, ‘weirdness’, to it. it also gave me a melody to play with throughout the film should it need to be used as a filler in places.

Next came the background, atmospheric tracks. Clearly a lot of low, dark synths, maybe some church organs, and a mixture of minor and major chords. Or just pedal notes which don’t really go anywhere, but creates that sense of the unexpected.

Throughout the course of a few months, I had built up a bank of ideas that I could return to and edit as and when edits came through. The first edit arrived around January 2020, and the first few tracks were laid, at least in my mind, to the film. This spurred some new ideas which were quickly added to my Day66 folder.

So where are we at now? Well, the theme is done, as is the first 10-15 minutes. We have music for a couple of montages, and I am currently working on a track for Z-Day – the day we successfully recruited a lot of willing volunteers who gave up their day to be a zombie, and what a day that was. It was wonderful to meet everyone, and thank you all for giving up your time for this!

Here is a montage of things to come. I hope you’ll enjoy what we have so far, and I hope you are as keen as I am to see the end result!

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