The second in a planned progression of pieces exploring my original musical score for the web series Theater People.
For Episode 2, director Matt Anderson wanted a theme underscoring a monologue by Jamy (Mark Mattison), a pretentious director who plans to mount a production of a lost play by Aleister Crowley. Here's the first scene in which this music appears, wherein Jamy seduces Jill (Jane Froiland) with some big talk about the show:
Now let's rewind to the first draft. I thought it'd be nice for this piece to grow chordally out of the main title theme, as did another theme I created for the callbacks of the "Romeo and Juliet" production. I wanted to highlight Jamy's sense of menace and tie it in with the Satanist he's talking about. I did my best to channel something Morricone might write to underscore a villain's appearance in a Western, filtered through a kind of Giant Sand/ Friends of Dean Martinez filter:
Crowley Theme (First Draft)
Matt and I both thought this was a nice piece of music, but it seemed a little too heavy on the menace-- "too real", as he put it. So I set about to sanding the edges off a little, making it somehow a little more bufoonish and friendlier to make Jamy seem like more of a poseur and less of a predator. I nixed the distorted droney guitar, added the organ, changed the bass sound from its previously aggro setting to something rounder, made the lead guitar less jagged, and came up with a more accessible melody. Here's the result, out of context from the scene. This has actually been tweaked a bit since that episode, for future use in the series and for demonstration purposes; the lead guitar is still pretty low in the mix so it won't compete with dialog, but I added some string bends:
Crowley Theme Friendlier (Revision)
I also mixed down a version featuring only the guitar, a version with only the drums, and the entire mix without the lead guitar to give Matt some more options down the line.
Thanks for checking this out-- I've had a great time working on this series, and I'm looking forward to updating you on more of its musical content!
Index of "Theater People" web series composer process entries: