Erica Harrell

In today’s blog I am proud to introduce our composer, Kristin Øhrn Dyrud. Kristin came to the film from a recommendation from colleague filmmakers Aaron King and Debby Wolfe, who had both worked with her on their most recent film projects. Kristin is from Norway and spent December working on our film from halfway across the world. Danny and I even were able to video chat with Kristin, again proving the usefulness of the iChat to A Monster in the Attic. She is now back in Los Angeles and will soon meet Danny in person for the first time!

Kristin finds influences from a wide range of music – everything from Bach, Rachmaninov, Grieg and Stravinsky to Bjork, Imogen Heap, Madonna, Ella Fitzgerald, Alison Krauss, and Lily Allen. Of film composers, she loves the work of Alexandre Desplat, John Powell, Christopher Young, Nicholas Hooper, Jon Brion and Thomas Newman, to mention a few.

Kristin had this to say about inspiration: “I get tremendously inspired by composers who incorporate everyday sounds in their music. Like Bjork, who made a whole song based on sounds from a basketball court. I also find inspiration in literature, abstract paintings, photography, nature, the sounds that surround me.”

For the Monster in the Attic score, Kristin was delighted to be brought into the process so early in the process. She gave herself plenty of time to sit with the film in order to truly understand our characters and their journey. Danny and Kristin decided that there would be very few instruments in the score, but those would be utilized in as many different – and sometimes unconventional – ways as possible.

More from Kristin after the jump:

“Darrell and Caroline have to do with the limited resources around them. So I had to choose versatile instruments that would be able to convey the core emotions of the film. I started playing with textures and melodic ideas and put a lot of time into doing research on the chosen instruments. I went to a concert with Stephen Scott”s Bowed Piano Ensemble to listen to ways of utilizing the piano in unconventional ways which resulted in me buying fish lines to use as bows for my piano. I”ve bought records with Edgar Meyer who is a fantastic bass player. I listened to a lot of different music as well as reading about orchestration for the specific instruments chosen. So far I”ve written about ten minutes of music which represent some of my ideas for the overall sound of the film.”

“With the rare luxury of having a lot of time, I get the chance of intellectualizing along the way. This allows me to see and utilize all the material and hopefully that”ll be something that will benefit the score. So for now I will continue my research and playing around with ideas until the actual tailoring begins in April.”

We are very excited to have Kristin on our film and to share with you a little bit more about her process. Check out her website and some examples of her work here.

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