Composer Michael Kamm 5 ?'s - SLEEPLESS

Composer Michael Kamm talks with us about his upcoming album, SLEEPLESS!

1. Did the director give you any interesting instructions or feedback to help you create the tonal palate?

MK - Well, as Bo and I are working together for so many years, our way of finding the musical language for a particular movie more and more turned out to be an evolving and interacting back and forth throughout the first couple of months… it often starts with some rough ideas about instrumentation, attitude, general tempo or just simply a color…but on this project our usual time frame for sound labs was actually very small, as I jumped in pretty late... so we ended up being very pragmatic and narrowed it down to two to three words: Fast, Rough and Dark…And that was basically the final briefing …

2. & 3. Was there a particular scene you felt was key to the film? Which scene did you score first and why? 

MK - I returned from holiday where I was reading the script for the very first time, and I knew that I immediately want to start with the showdown…it felt so intense and nerve-racking over an extraordinary long stretch, so I knew that we might need some slow and very dark pulse that arouses tension and will never let go of it…And from that dark molasses-esque puls we created pretty much of the material … it actually is now in the opening scene and appears quite often throughout the movie as well…

4. Describe any character or emotional themes that you created and reused throughout the score.

MK - Well, basically we are dealing with a prototypical set of characters for that kind of movie and our question was not really about generating a specific theme for a particular character, it felt more like thinking about a general vortex of flurry, time pressure and suspense that has the ongoing ability to increase throughout the whole movie …

5. Did you use any interesting or unusual instrumentation?

MK - We started with the idea of a nervous ticking deep and dark pounding wall of analogue synthesizers, but during the editing period our mean characters got sicker and stronger and we somehow fell in love with the sound of a huge brass section playing basically very narrow chords or often even clusters mostly of the lowest notes possible. This unpleasant noisy sound added a certain threatening and sinister touch to the synths. But honestly, when you are messing around with a brass section like that, you immediately start thinking of a huge orchestra. And that is where we finally ended up …


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