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Classic Western Meets the Twilight Zone

Side by Side
Black Jacks Dead/Finale

Purgatory was an interesting challenge. Most of the look and feel of most of the film was classic western, but the underlying story was supernatural. Director Uli Edel and I had worked together previously on Rasputin. I really enjoyed working with him because he appreciated music and left room in his projects for the score to breath and make a meaningful contribution.

We decided to strongly support the classic western elements of the project and not overplay the otherworldly elements so that the audience could enjoy discovering the strangeness of what was really going on in this seemingly normal town without the score telegraphing it too much.  I used some key sounds and textures that eventually paid off when the “out there” elements of the story really showed themselves.

The Side By Side cue scores a scene where a young man whose childhood heroes have failed him is left to face up to the bad guys alone. As he does his high noon walk down the middle of the street to face his fate, his heroes, one by one fall in beside him.

In the Black Jack is Dead/Finale cue. The bad guy takes his trip to Hell while in the end others are off to Heaven. Here you can hear the supernatural elements of the score come into play.


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I spent the majority of my adult life composing original scores for film and television, working on a wide range of projects (The Terminator, Big Easy, The Accused, True Lies), with an amazing assortment of people( James Cameron , Katherine Bigelow , Arthur miller, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford). I took some time to examine my life and realized that my youthful dream of using my talent and creativity to make a difference in the world was not being fulfilled in Hollywood. I ended up turning that exploration into a one man musical called Borrowed Time.