A few months ago I had the opportunity to write some music for the short film ‘Behind the Curtain’. Written by Colm Lennon and Rob Slattery, directed by Rob, this unique piece is a sort of character study of a motivational speaker called Harry Gold. I may be biased but I think it’s an excellent film and I was delighted to collaborate with Rob on the soundtrack. Colm Lennon also stars as Harry Gold and delivers a very convincing performance, inhabiting this unhinged, disturbing character completely. Rob and Colm are a great team and I wouldn’t be surprised to see future projects of theirs receiving wider acclaim.
Short films are a difficult medium, seeking to encapsulate an idea or reveal some kind of truth in a very limited time frame. Behind the Curtain does this for me and left me thinking there is scope for a feature about it’s main character. Although the film has a kind of reveal at the end, like many shorts, this time it was quite different, abstract almost. Rather than tying up the ends neatly and offering some kind of obvious conclusion, Behind the Curtain leaves you with an uneasy feeling, a question unanswered. This type of art is what I’m often attracted to. It stays with you after the fact.
The music I wrote was mainly made up of short cues with two slightly longer themes at each end of the film. Rob had a preference for the sound he was looking for, a vintage electric piano, which was the starting point that informed how the rest of the music would develop. I used the excellent Waves electric 88 plugin for this purpose, writing all of the melodic lines on this instrument. Other sounds used were some sampled strings which can be heard on both themes; Be your Desire and Seven Steps. Possibly my favourite track is ‘You are alone in the world’ which consisted of re-pitching some vocalisations of my own and using granular synthesis to stretch these recordings into a ghostly, inhuman sound. Thematically I tried to somehow tap into the mixture of menace and melancholy contained in Harry Golds character.
The full soundtrack is now on a Bandcamp page which I will dedicate to projects like this one in the future. The music is interspersed with outtakes from the film to add context.