Elia Cmiral is I think one of the most interesting and original composers of film music, he has been involved on several high-profile movies and first came to the notice of cinema audiences outside of his native Czechoslovakia when he wrote the score for RONIN which was a milestone moment for him as a composer. It was whilst writing the music for RONIN that the composer introduced a new sound and instrument to the world of film music in the form of the Armenian wind instrument the Duduk, which has since been embraced and utilised by many composers and featured on many film soundtracks. FERAL is the composers most recent scoring assignment and Cmiral is no stranger to the genre of the horror film. His score is edgy and highly atmospheric, the composer fuses both symphonic colours and sounds with electronic and synthetic support. It is a score that oozes fearsome and traumatic sounds that underline and enhance the macabre and unpredictable goings on up on the screen. It is a work that is harrowing and filled with tense and nervous stabs, sounds and crashes, Cmiral adding an inventive line up of percussive instrumentation to create an even greater urgency at key points within the score. There is also a visceral or sinewy sound to the work that radiates a malevolent atmosphere. The score also contains some lighter moments which are melodic and a welcomed tranquil respite amongst the driving intense atmospheric content. It is probably true to say that FERAL is not a score that you will take out and play on a Sunday morning whilst reading or doing chores, but it is an accomplished score and one where the less taught cues shine through as rich and beautiful moments that will attract the attention of the listener. The soundtrack is available on Movie Score Media’s Scream works label, as a digital release but will be available on Quartet soon as a Compact Disc. Movie score Media’s Scream works is dedicated to the release of horror scores, and champions film music that ordinarily would probably not see a release as does MSM.
THE COMPOSER ON THE SCORE.
You have worked with the director of FERAL a few times, does he have a great degree of involvement in where music is placed and what style of music that is created for his projects, in particular FERAL?
“As a matter of a fact I am just about to start my next project with the director Mark Young, very interesting movie called “LIMBO”. In the course of a few years and a number of films we did together we developed a great creative way of communication and trust in our artistic instincts. Mark is very much involved in the score during the whole process, starting with placement and choice of the temp as well as describing in detail what he needs from the each cues. Having said that, he is also giving me a total freedom to go to a different direction if I want to. At each new project we do together we are finding some new aspects of perfecting our collaboration.”
What percentage of synthetic instrumentation did you utilise on the score in comparison with symphonic performances, and where was the score recorded?
“I have a few multi-instrumentalist friends including myself and we overdub my computer-generated orchestra mock ups in my studio. Sometimes more sometimes less, it depends on the music character and the directions we like to go. This is fun and creative process in case of a small music budget, and it is a way to keep music alive. Of course, nothing can beat having the whole score recorded live with an orchestra, but the overdub method can be effective, and it brings a good result.”
How long did it take to score the movie from start to finish, how much music did you compose for the film and were you involved in selecting
the cues for the soundtrack release?
“To score the movie I usually ask for 5-6 weeks, but sometimes I have much less. I had enough time to score “FERAL”. There is a lot of music in this movie, close to 68 minutes, including orchestral and ambient cues. For the soundtrack I reconstructed and remixed every cue, and some short but interesting cues. I combined into one longer musical satisfying track and again remixed it. Not the whole score made it to the soundtrack.
I always make selections of the cues to represent in the best way music to the film and also at least suggest the movie plot. I love this process and I do it for each soundtrack I am about to release. The soundtrack is only about music, with no restrictions for the cues length and dynamics which I have to respect while scoring the movie.”
I see that the score will be getting a CD release as well as the digital release it has already had, what format of release do you prefer or are you happy with
any type of release?
“Yes, the score will be released also as a CD as a limited release. I like to release my scores on both platforms, digitally and physically, if it is possible. When I get a new soundtrack myself I love to read in the booklet about the project, notes from the composer and the director and other details.”