Exclusive: Dante Tomaselli to offer musical “NIGHTMARE”Books/Art/Culture,Movies/TV,News Michael Gingold
Having just seen the release of his horror-music CD THE DOLL last week, filmmaker/composer Dante Tomaselli (TORTURE CHAMBER, SATAN’S PLAYGROUND) gave Fango the scoop about his latest sonic project, NIGHTMARE, including first peeks at the front and back covers.
Like THE DOLL, which will serve as the score for Tomaselli’s upcoming feature of the same title (on which—full disclosure—this writer will be working on the screenplay; see story here), NIGHTMARE will be released by Elite Entertainment and MVD Audio, with no official date yet. In this case, Tomaselli tells us, the music was inspired by one of his past features. “I started composing NIGHTMARE with the illustration created for the cover: a young girl drowning in blood with the ferryman chasing her on the River Styx. It’s actually a scene I was going to shoot for my second film, HORROR, back in the winter of 2001. Near the end of the film, where things really spin out of control, Lizzy Mahon as Grace was supposed to wade through a lake of blood in her white nightgown.
“I scouted and planned it for one of the 18 days of our shoot in Warwick, upstate New York. I had my special effects supervisor, Scott Sliger, create the zombielike hands meant to reach out of the lake, but I just never got a chance to shoot the scene. I was so mad, just like when I never got to shoot the Jimmy melting doll for TORTURE CHAMBER…but that’s another story. On HORROR, we just didn’t have enough time, so the realization of this longtime vision feels right. I commissioned Hae Ree Choi to illustrate the NIGHTMARE cover; the New York School of Visual Arts alumni program hooked me up with her. The art is also very influenced by a cover of an old pulp horror magazine called TERROR TALES. I saw the cover at a young age and was so shocked by it—but I’d also stare at it, being unusually interested in the macabre.”
NIGHTMARE will be Tomaselli’s third CD, following THE DOLL and the Halloween-music disc SCREAM IN THE DARK (see review here). “That one completely evokes the season for me,” he says, while THE DOLL is a little more experimental and melodic in parts. I guess you could put it in the category of dark ambient. I grew up listening to John Carpenter and Alan Howarth soundtracks, and I think some of that comes through; also maybe a bit of Tangerine Dream and the electronic band Coil. NIGHTMARE is also inspired by the DOLL movie project; I’m visualizing the film, and these tracks accompany the scenes in my imagination. I love conjuring these worlds, and with music, I don’t have money hanging over me, dozens of people all around, trucks, big lights, tents, time ticking away… I’m all alone in my home studio with my palette of sounds.”