(click the image to go to streaming website)
EDIT 11/15/2012: Streaming video doesn't work well or at all on some people's computers, and even for people who have no problem streaming, I understand it can be daunting to be presented with over an hour of music like I have in this "Vampyr" post.
So here's a short 2:20 sample of the soundtrack in MP3 format:
The death vision sequence in "Vampyr"
The main character's astral spirit is projected in the latter portion of the film, and one of his experiences in that form is to have a vision of being buried alive. It's the most famous sequence from the film, with the character's physical body paralyzed and sealed in a coffin that has a glass window in it. We see his face frozen in terror and wonder as he stares out through the window and pallbearers carry the coffin through a village and to the cemetery.
Original post starts here:
My biggest music project in 2010 was to compose a score for the semi-obscure 1932 horror film, "Vampyr." At the end of that year, I posted a short demo video here at the Forum, but until now, the full piece has only been available as a purchase.
Now, two years later, I'm offering up the whole project to everyone here at the Forum for free. At the website linked to from the image above, you'll find the entire movie in streaming video, and hear my full soundtrack.
Carl Theodor Dreyer, the great Danish director of the film, went out on a limb to do something unique with "Vampyr." It did badly during its initial runs, and virtually destroyed both Dreyer's career and confidence. Like many works of art that aren't appreciated initially, it has many admirers now, despite its remaining a "difficult" movie that a lot of people still have difficulty enjoying.
I think it's brilliant, and perhaps even superior to the famous "Nosferatu." A lot of good background can be found here:
"Vampyr" at Wiki
"Vampyr" was done early in the sound era, but was produced more like a silent movie, with very limited use of sound. I approached it as if it's a silent film as I composed the music.
I kept instrumentation sparse, using a handful of Garritan instruments layered with synths and sound effects. I stripped off the horrible sound track on my VHS copy of the film, added in sound effects, and did something I feel is effective with the dialogue, based on Dreyer's original idea to have voices sound as if they're coming from a dream.
This isn't big, grand soundtrack work like in modern Hollywood products, and it's a bit more melodically oriented rather than minimalistically textural.
I hope you take a listen to at least some of it, but what I'm really hoping is that some brave souls watch the entire film. If you do watch it all, you'll at least see that it's a unique movie. I feel that if someone really gives it their full attention, they can find "Vampyr" as eerie and haunting a movie as any they've ever seen. Just don't expect any blood, guts, or horrific images. The entire thing is ethereal, elusive. It's a spooky nightmare, not a shocking one.
It was a wonderful project for me, and I hunkered down to work on it full-time until I'd finished it. I think I had the whole thing finished within a two month period, incredibly fast for me.
J. Hoberman of the Village Voice wrote that "...Vampyr is Dreyer's most radical film — maybe one of my dozen favorite movies any director..."
Anton Bitel of Channel 4 said the film is "...a triumph of the irrational, Dreyer's eerie memento mori never allows either protagonist or viewer fully to wake up from its surreal nightmare."