Michael Abels, Youtube, Jordan discussed on Press Play with Madeleine Brand


Getting the feeling behind my knees behind my castle. I guess intense. Believe me if you haven't seen it and the music plays a huge part in that the man behind the score. The film's composer is Michael Abels. He also composed the music for Jordan peels movie get out, and he's here to tell us all about making music that makes you hold your breath and remind yourself it's just a movie, it's just and it is so nice to have you here. Michael, thanks so much for having me, Barbara, well that clip we just heard features your spin on that classic. Hip. Hop song from the nineties I got five on it by loonies, and it's just this really classic joyful song. But you make it so scary. How do you do that? It has to do with their the harmony behind it like scary harmonies are dissonant. They're not friendly to the ear. And so you can. Take pretty much anything and just by distorting the harmony behind it. The let the subconscious know that whatever has happening is not good. I was gonna ask you. What does make song scary? Because for me, I have and I'm sure I'm not alone. I when I think of scary sounds I go back to childhood. Peter and the wolf scared me, you're nodding. Yes. Absolutely, Peter and the wolf scared me pants. There's a piece by one of my earliest music memories is a piece by Edvard Grieg called in the hall of the mountain king. And in that piece kids are chased by a put it the the the monster that lives in the fjord or something like that. And I you know, I'd never heard that story, but you don't need to. It's right there in the music and monster comes after them, you just respond viscerally slick, right? And this kind of beat a increasing the tempo speeding up, the tempo. Right. And you start to read faster. Maybe is that true. That's that's part of it. Another thing is it's it's really the sound of of the unknown. When there's a sound. And you don't know what it is. I mean, I think that's just you automatically, you know, the sound outside your house that isn't repeating. So it's not a machine it's not it's not in a rhythm. And yet it keeps happening and you. Automatic. Like, okay. What does that? I get that feeling. I guess so same thing in music like when when you when there's something coming, but you don't know when when I was. Riffing on the got five on it theme in the in the film, it starts with just the the back and forth of the of the baseline, which is really a Meli itself. It goes dead. The and then it's answered doodoo. But you don't know. So what I did was I opened the space between those two things. See didn't you couldn't tell when the high part was coming? But you know, it's coming. Give it to me. When is when is it coming? And so that was that was really fun because it's it's very suspenseful in a very in a really simple way. Now us is your second film score and your first one was during Peel's get out. But before that you had mostly been composing orchestral music. So how did this collaboration with peel? Start Jordan saw and heard one of my concert orchestral pieces on YouTube. And he made the producers hunt me down incoming well. How did even find you on YouTube? There must be how many untold millions of people on you too. And I'm the most unlikely YouTube. You are not the demographic. He was looking for someone, you know, heat when we first had lunch when I figured out that I wasn't being punked, and I called the producer back, and they sent me the script which I got sent what was to become the Oscar winning script. If you think about it. How is how mazing so, of course, it, and it was brilliant. And of course, I wanted to meet him, and we had lunch. And the first thing he said to me was he said, I want the African American voice both metaphorically and literally in this movie talking about get out and the peace of mind that he saw on YouTube is one called urban legends. And it's a very it's fairly dissonant a piece for orchestra string quartet, and it's a, but it's also got African drums. And the on samba that.

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