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An Exquisite Corpse

NEMO 019
year: 2007

project coordinator:Rob Switzer

Eleven composers collaborated in Exquisite Corpse fashion to produce two brand new soundtracks for the German Expressionist Classic The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari.

The film with the new soundtracks is available for free download from archive.org under a Creative Commons license (Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0).

The copyright to each song belongs to the respective artist.
Right-click audio player and then click "save as" to download a track

10 David Cooper Orton Soundtrack 2, Act 4
  Of what was I thinking?

Many times over the years, people have told me your music sounds like it should be the soundtrack to some weird sci-fi film, and sometimes, this was even meant as a compliment. So I really wanted to do something good for this project - just what my music had been waiting for, so it might seem.

I had a bit of luck - I won a copy of Acid Pro 6 from those nice people at AcidPlanet/Sony just as I was thinking about how to sync my sounds with the images from the film, and without it, I'd probably have been stuck.

The composing was done, often as not, by improvising along with the film, scene by scene, and then editing and recomposing and cut'n'pasting like crazy, and then getting right down to a pains-taking process of lining up the notes to the action. Most of this was generated by guitar, ebow, reverb, delays, loops (Digitech JamMan in real time, then edited with Sonic Forge). I planned not to use naturalistic Foley sounds at first, but some gradually crept in, including the funeral bells (chiming 13), and the creaking doors.

My son, Michael, added some drums at appropriate points, and hopefully, viewers will jump out of their respective skins at just *that* precise moment.

The bit which sounds like someone's finger tapping on one end of a guitar lead plugged-in to a large reverb unit is indeed just that. I wish I could say that the lengthy glissandi sections were recorded on strings stretched from one end of my kitchen to the other, or better yet, a Long String Instrument, but it's just multi-tracked, spirit of Gong, screwdriver-on-guitar-string with added processing. The chase sequence, as scored by the Gang of Four - who can resist?

And after all that I got the levels wrong, so the quiet bits should probably be turned-up - but watch out for the crescendos. What more can I say? I've already said too much...

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