If anybody lately nonetheless remembers Piranha II: The Spawning, a low-budget Jaws-esque “horror for the deep” from 1981, it’s normally as the reply to the trivia query: What was James Cameron’s first movie as a director?
However Somtow Sucharitkul remembers. The pioneering composer from Thailand is taking the movie, or extra precisely its music, as inspiration for his newest work, a “symphony of horror” that can first be carried out stay at this yr’s Oldenburg Worldwide Movie Pageant.
The selection of Piranha II isn’t any accident. Somtow’s new work is a tribute to Piranha II producer Ovidio G. Assonitis, the filmmaker behind such movies as Tentacles, Madhouse, and Past the Door. Oldenburg is honoring Assonitis this yr with its lifetime achievement award.
Along with Piranha II, Somtow picked The Man from the Deep River, aka Sacrifice!, a 1972 Grindhouse cannibal movie produced by Assonitis, for inspiration.
“It’s set in Thailand, although it’s a Thailand of some mad fantasy,” Somtow notes. “These two items we’re taking part in from Ovidio’s movies have been initially by [Italian composer] Daniele Patuchi and my very sensible scholar Mickey Wongsathapornpat has tailored them for symphony orchestra. What can I say? This music is wildly excessive and passionately “Italian” in taste and really a lot illuminates the movie world of its time.”
Along with Assonitis’ oeuvre, Somtow’s new work additionally attracts from The Maestro, the brand new movie from Thai-based Brit director Paul Spurrier, which Somtow wrote and stars in, and which may have its world premiere at Oldenburg.
“Once I subtitled [the film]: The Maestro: A Symphony of Terror this was an homage to F.W Murnau’s 1922 movie Nosferatu whose subtitle was “Eine Symphonie des Grauens” — additionally a “symphony of horror,” says Somtow. ” So in our live performance, we’re going to play two mini-symphonies, one extracted from Hans Erdmann’s rating for [Murnau’s] 1922 movie and the opposite from our 2021 movie — 99 years later. I believe one of many issues you will note is how Erdmann’s rating lays the groundwork for a lot of what we consider as horror film music.”
Somtow has introduced alongside 20 members of the Thai youth orchestra The Siam Sinfonietta to Oldenburg to carry out the brand new symphony of horror. The total orchestra will probably be fleshed out by members of the Bremen youth orchestra.
“As a child, I usually heard the Grimms’ fairy story in regards to the animal musicians of Bremen, so it’s wonderful to satisfy precise musicians from there,” Somtow says.
Somtow and his orchestra will carry out the “horror symphony” for the primary time at Oldenburg’s State Theater on Sunday. The gala live performance will happen within the afternoon, forward of the night world premiere of The Maestro.
For Wednesday’s opening night time ceremony of the twenty eighth Oldenburg Movie Pageant, Somtow and his musicians will give followers a style with a brief authentic fanfare.
“It is just 90 seconds however I’ve tried to encapsulate the “spirit of indie” on this piece,” he says. “Indie means being free of being “pinned down” to any style, so this fanfare leaps from style to style with wild abandon. It means surprises and twists, so the fanfare ends all of a sudden within the improper key. … That’s the concept behind the brand new piece … a little bit of quirky enjoyable to start out the music off.”