Project Description

Devised Project

For my final year Devised Project at Bath Spa University, I created a collection of horror cues to be used as library music. It showcases my abilities in sound design, manipulating sample libraries, composition, production, and overall proficiency to make industry standard horror cues. The library covers a wide range of sub-genres, with different cues capturing different styles of horror.

A Quiet Place

This cue represents the sci-fi horror genre. It focuses on using sound design tools in combination with more traditional orchestral techniques to create an otherworldly build in tension and drama. I relied on resampling, manipulation of custom recordings and heavy post-processing to take natural elements (e.g. real world foley sounds, violin recordings) and make them unfamiliar to the listener and creating an extraterrestrial landscape.

Hereditary

This cue focuses more on psychological horror, emphasising the mental state of the characters through harsh timbral material. The first half of the cue is slow building and features the same elements all the way through, generating different combinations of sections that interact with each other in progressively harsher ways. This continues until the sudden climax, where silence instantly ceases all buildup of tension. This silence is then met with a raw gritty violin section, representing an insane mind slowly processing the events that have just occurred. This section was recorded with a live violin, before being processed and layered to create this unnerving sequence.

It Follows

This cue demonstrates the retro-horror genre, for narratives set in the 80s. It was created solely with synthesis and post-processing to represent the equipment available of the time period in which the narrative is set in. It contains a lot of saturation and tape playback features, all having a variety of parameters automated before being resampled and processed again. This cue also contains an abundance of harsh piercing textures representing the mental state of the main character's battle with the demon.

Saw

This cue represents the surreal thriller horror genre. It features ambient timbral sound design, highly dramatic orchestral sections, and heavy industrial production to create an intense narrative of someone fighting for their life. A lot of the sounds have a metal timbre to them to represent the cage the protagonist is trapped within. There are also a lot of jarring bass hits, representing his mental struggle and highlighting the intensity of the situation.

The Awakening

This cue demonstrates music for historical horror, representing narratives set in the early 20th century. It relies on more traditional orchestra techniques, with the motion of the piece being carried more by the performance and harmony of the instruments rather than the production of the track. It showcases a vast array of orchestral elements working together to create an emotive and empathetic score, creating an unholy atmosphere towards the end of the cue. All orchestral elements were created with sample libraries apart from the piano, which was recorded and mixed in a studio in Bath.

© 2020 by Luke Davies.