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In a time of horror remakes with little respect for their original material, it’s good to see someone trying to pay proper homage to a classic fright film. F.W. Murnau’s NOSFERATU: A SYMPHONY OF HORRORS is one of the most acclaimed genre movies of all time—so revered that many admirers have applied their own soundtracks to the silent landmark. The newest attempt comes from HobGoblin, whose founder Strephon Tayler formed the group (whose name is a nod to trailblazing horror composers Goblin) to craft a modern score for the timeless vampire tale.
“I had wanted to add a soundtrack to NOSFERATU for a long time,” Taylor tells Fango. “I had heard what others had come up with, and thought it could be done with a modern flair, instead of trying to emulate a 1920s dark organ or piano score. I started talking to some musicians about forming a soundtrack band, and starting with scoring NOSFERATU.”
In the end, putting the group together turned out to be a fairly simple, yet rewarding process. “Everyone I talked to was excited by the idea, so finding the core of HobGoblin was very easy,” Taylor says. “I have nothing but good memories of the collaboration.”
But while the musical portion went smoothly, Taylor added another layer of complexity to the soundtrack: full audio FX and voiceovers, both of which proved to be far more difficult than anticipated. “What I thought would be easy was the dialogue,” he recalls. “My thinking was that I would just have some actors recite the cards existing in the film and just drop that in. But the cards make up about 10 percent of the film’s dialogue; I quickly realized that I would be writing the majority of it myself.” In the end, a project that was originally supposed to last only a few months wound up taking nearly two years to complete.
So with a fully scored film under their belts, what’s next for HobGoblin? “We are currently wrapping up the demo tracks for THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, and it has a much more insane and industrial sound to it so far—really cool stuff,” Taylor says. “We have a couple of original scripts that will get produced through November Fire [Taylor’s website]…and are discussing making a pure audio recording of the lost Tod Browning film LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT.”
The new version of NOSFERATU, with a freshly remastered 35mm print, is heading out onto the film-festival circuit shortly, with a DVD release to follow. To purchase the new soundtrack on CD, plus lots of other merch, visit Taylor’s November Fire site here.
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