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Gallows’ Laurent Barnard to Score Melanie Light’s “THE HERD”; EXCL Comments

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UK-based horror filmmaker Melanie Light (ESCAPE), who we last mentioned for taking part in a very neat 2014 horror-centric Calendar, is preparing another brutal exercise in short terror, THE HERD. With aims to be transgressive, visceral, and imbued with vegan themes, it stands the film—which “inflicts the life of the average dairy cow on to a group of human women”—would require an appropriately dark score. Enter Laurent Barnard, of contemporary punk greats Gallows, who looks to make his narrative composing debut on the film.

Currently crowdfunding via Sponsume, THE HERD sees Paula imprisoned within inhuman squalor with other women; their “existence and human function is abused as a resource by their captors. Escape, on any level, is hopeless as the women are condemned to a life of enforced servitude for one reason only – their milk. Enslaved, inseminated and abused – every facet of their life is violated. At first the premise seems exaggerated and absurd; but is, in fact, disgusting in its stark normality.” Clearly charged to examine animal cruelty, THE HERD’s strong worldview comes with thrilling collaborators, including THE WOMAN’s PollyAnna McIntosh and the aforementioned Barnard, who brought the project to my attention recently.

Barnard, whose main gig is the (deservedly) acclaimed Gallows, has previously composed music for documentary shorts, but tells Fango, “I’m extremely thankful to be involved with THE HERD, and the extreme nature of the film is definitely going to influence my approach when scoring the short. The team around the project is great and every time I speak to director, Melanie Light, there’s something new and exciting being added. I’ve started recording a few demos based on the script alone but when it comes to the final score, I may start from scratch and let the visual guide me. I definitely want to include an element of what I do in Gallows in the soundtrack. Heavy, discordant guitars that carry a sense of impending doom. That’s what I’m known for, right?”

Speaking to his influences, Barnard says, “I’ve always been a huge fan of big movie scores and I definitely indulged in that passion when composing the instrumental string and piano sections for the second Gallows album, GREY BRITAIN. For me, that was a childhood dream come true. When I was growing up, John Williams soundtracked all my favorite movies, but film scoring has really opened up now. Artists such as Trent Reznor, Cliff Martinez and Clint Mansell have all crossed over from ‘rock’n’roll’ into film and they’ve been producing some of my favorite modern scores and incorporated a more electronic sound in the process. This greater use of synths and drum machines that’s taking over was definitely very prominent in 70s and 80s horror. I still think John Carpernter’s ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 theme is unbeatable when it comes to that style of music. I can’t wait to start creating my own now!”

You can hear some Barnard’s previous film work below, as well as see Light’s short ESCAPE and campaign video for THE HERD. THE HERD is raising funds until Tuesday, May 6. You can find out more at the film’s official Facebook here.

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About the author
Samuel Zimmerman
Fangoria.com Managing Editor Samuel Zimmerman has been at FANGORIA since 2009, where fresh out of the Purchase College Cinema Studies program, he began as an editorial assistant. Since, he’s honed both his writing and karaoke skills and been trusted with the responsibility of jury duty at Austin’s incredible Fantastic Fest. Zimmerman lives in and hails from The Bronx, New York where his pants are too tight and he’ll watch anything with witches.
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