Swedish composer talks of horror challenge

Marianne scene

COMPOSING a score for a feature film is no mean feat, but for Swedish musician Mikael Junehag it was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.

Being a guitarist in a rock-band, originally based in Ostersund – which is where Filip Tegstedt’s psychological horror Marianne is set – Mikael was approached by the director to create music for the trailer.

He said: “Having always been interested in films and musical scores, I was happy to take on the composing. The other band members weren’t quite as excited, so I took on the task myself.

“I liked the story of Marianne – and the fact it played out in my home town was a big attraction. I want to support local film-making and thought Filip’s project was very brave.

“Having previously made music for an animated short and writing music for the band, I couldn’t say no to this opportunity – even though I knew it would be hard work for a small fee.”

So who does Mikael say was his biggest inspiration when he undertook the writing for Marianne?

He reveals: “Kenji Kawai, who made the soundtrack to The Ring and Dark Water. The way he builds soundscapes is inspiring.

“I also listened to work by bands like Godspeed and Black Emperor – then mixed it all with folk music to help strengthen the geographical landscape of the film and the story which builds around folklore.”

He adds: “I’ve always been fascinated by great film composers like Hans Zimmer and Howard Shore but it’s hard to be inspired by those who have access to entire orchestras.

“I had to record almost all the instruments myself and Sanna Eriksson played the violin. We recorded in my mother’s apartment, in my old bedroom. The rest of the score was done in my own apartment in Gothenburg.”

Mikael insists the time taken to analyze the film, understand what’s going on (while seeing it from a viewer’s perspective) helped him come up with an original score for Marianne.

“It would take a minor scientific report to analyze how to build and maintain atmosphere in a film through the music, but I used different themes and soundscapes to help scenes develop,” he says.

“I put the film into the recording programme I was using then made the tracks as the scenes played out.

“Despite hearing my music in the scenes on my laptop, when the film was complete it was pleasant – while at the same time slightly weird – watching the finished movie and hearing my music.”

And so, with the release of Marianne’s second teaser trailer, viewers can now hear a snippet of Mikael’s atmospheric score.

Tegstedt’s latest trailer, which you can watch below, thankfully doesn’t give much away while doing enough to intrigue.

For more information on Marianne click here.

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