This film came to me by way of a friend, who invited me to a BBQ where I had a chance to meet director Axel Laramée for the first time. He had just completed an edit for this short film, and he had some tracks from a couple of artists (Strand of Oaks and Ian Kelly), but he wanted more music to highlight certain feelings and aspects of the story. So he described the story to me: a cottage, a couple, a brother, a melée of emotions, the folly of youth, a lake, a dog, swimming across the lake to an island, a betrayal. I’m paraphrasing here, obviously.

I was like: “sounds cool, I’d love to see it.”

So I got the film via frame.io – which was new to me – and I thought well this is cool. You can add comments to a film that is being shared with several people over a webpage. So Axel – who was quite busy- had a moment to come over to see what I had done. In fact, I had just started the night before, and when he came over I tracked a part while he was here. I think I had sketched out two scenes. He asked me to print it, and brought it into his collaborators. He got back to me and said everyone thought it was cool. So, voilà, we had something.

I was a little concerned that the licensed songs might not be approved for use –  which would leave a hole in the film. And in fact, one didn’t work out. Fortunately, Axel had written and recorded a solo guitar and voice song, which worked really well, so we were covered.

One aspect of Axel’s vision here, which was really cool, was that he wanted the earthy folksy cottage elements to morph into a subtle distorted synth sound to represent the pending emotional turmoil lurking in the story. We referred to it as “the monster.” More of a suggestion than an outright expression. Because that feeling achieves its full expression at the end of the film in “_____” by Strand of Oaks.

So, I was able to pull the background elements of the first cue (synth woodwinds) forward in the mix, and by modulating an analogue bass, get them to overpower the acoustic guitar to end the scene.

So this score was really all about bridging the sonic ground between the two songs, and realizing “the monster.”

The film was selected for Gala du Court Métrage Québecois