Dante Tomaselli wants you to “SCREAM IN THE DARK”
While awaiting the release of his new movie TORTURE CHAMBER (pictured above), filmmaker Dante Tomaselli has turned to audio scares with a forthcoming CD of original horror music called SCREAM IN THE DARK.
Tomaselli has previously scored all of his features (also including SATAN’S PLAYGROUND, HORROR and DESECRATION), and tells Fango that SCREAM IN THE DARK, coming January 14 from Elite Entertainment through MVD Audio, “is a homage to ’70s Halloween soundscape albums like SOUNDS TO MAKE YOU SHIVER and CHILLING, THRILLING SOUNDS OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE. Growing up, I listened to those albums endlessly, my imagination lighting up. I got lost in the howling winds and thunderstorms and creepy, thick atmospheres. I could say the same about John Carpenter and Alan Howarth soundtracks—big influence—and I decided to create an album of my own.
“The title comes from the name of a funhouse in New Jersey in the ’70s—one I was too young to enter,” he continues. “I only heard about it in kind of hushed tones from my older brother and sisters, so it existed only in my mind. The first track, ‘Dark Night of the Soul,’ has a Gothic-horror feel, with deep, low tones and ominous weather as backdrop. It segues into a more psychedelic section called ‘The Tunnel,’ a journey through an amusement-park funhouse. While we’re moving through this dark underground hallway, this hazy landscape, we’re led to the more disturbing ‘Chamber of Horrors.’
“After that, there’s a series of moods, like mini-horror films that crystallize in your mind: ‘Witches,’ ‘The Attic,’ ‘Death’s Door.’ Probably the most electronic and hallucinatory is ‘Bad Dreams,’ inspired by synthesizer artists like Greg Hawkes, Jean Michel Jarre, Alan Wilder and Vince Clarke. Midway through the album, the sounds morph into an ambient, almost trancelike haze with synthesized bells…mixed with echoed footsteps, creaking doors, wind and a chain dragging on a castle floor. I also created a soundscape titled ‘All Hallows’ Eve,’ which I feel absorbs the mysteriousness of Halloween. I always had my bedroom decorated like a funhouse. Even now, every day is Halloween for me.”
“The soundscapes on SCREAM IN THE DARK should induce visions,” he adds. “Sit back, turn off the lights and let the creepiness envelop you, or play the disc in the background as you work and create. It’s all about stimulating the imagination. Music triggers visuals, sometimes full-blown pictures; if it doesn’t make strong images appear, then it’s not working. I also tried to keep it unpredictable and mazelike; as in my films, there’s a feeling of being lost. You’re never sure what’s around the corner.”
Tomaselli went through numerous versions of the assorted tracks before arriving at the final product, utilizing a Roland Fantom X6 synthesizer, Korg sampler and sound effects library. “My office space is like a mini-recording studio,” he says. “The disc was engineered by Don Olson, my piano teacher, who was extremely helpful.” The TORTURE CHAMBER DVD also arrives in January; see the details and cover art here.