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Soundtrack Review

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The Farm
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Sergei Stern
Label: ScreamWorks Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 18 January 2019

Screamworks Records releases the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to The Farm. Written and directed by Hans Stjernsward, the film follows a young couple who are kidnapped when they stop at a roadside diner to eat meat. Their ordeal is to endure everything an animal has to go through before being put on someone’s plate. Composer Sergei Stern’s plan was to incorporate live instruments, human voice and organic sound design – built on unconventional harmonics and unpredictable counterpoint. Stern has scored seven feature films and more than 80 short films. This is his soundtrack release debut...

The 'Main Title' is great, as you just can’t quite get a handle on it. There is percussion and some course sound effects, with music that teases on the edge of melody whilst establishing an atmosphere of weirdness and uncertainty. 'The Farm' has an old fashioned, positively pagan quality produced with strings. Uncertainty is the key word. 'Killing and Feeding' has lots of what might be described as cutting sounds, chains, knocking and dripping which turns this eerie music into a passive assault on the senses. 'Under' plays a waiting game, before strings and the occasional keys join forces with some unsettling sound effects. 'Ken Baby' features creepy, atmospheric noises which really don’t belong in the real world, and so prove unnerving. Just the slightest hint of soundscape music accompany them.

'Alec' has a throbbing pulse (I’m sure he has!), with a sound that hints at sawing phasing in and out, and becoming more electronic and fluttering. Stomping and a sort of horn-like roar takes over. 'Milk Cows' serves as a floating atmospheric piece. 'Wake Up' brings back the menace, with a number of prominent and underlying sound effects. 'Last Supper' incorporates chanting, off-kilter and ultra-low singing, and then vague music carrying a faint beat, fluttering, and the return of horror film strings and keys – but in a most original mad celebration of psychotica. 'On My Land' is an original pagan folk song written and performed by the composer. Whilst traditional in style, it still manages to sound like it’s from another time. This is heard playing through a radio in the film.

Although this is a relatively short soundtrack, it makes quite an impression and proves much more original than many longer scores. It’s very different in places to the overused techniques of the average horror piece. This one places you in an environment which is ‘not quite right’ through sound alone… and that’s no mean feat.


Ty Power

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