Milan Records released my score to Killers Within last week, and it is now available on all major digital stores and streaming services.
From Randall D. Larson’s liner notes:
Killers Within dabs into a variety of genres: fantasy, horror, thriller, action… so it was key for Bushe and O’Neill to have a score that could evolve over the story’s course while blending all those genres into a cohesive whole. “We discussed creating some straight-up horror music, how far into electronic and percussive elements we might want to go for the action scenes, as well as the part of the film which borrows from heist movie tropes,” Leroy said. “But the main point of conversation, really, was what kind of musical atmosphere we wanted to create for the moments in the mansion—which is where a majority of the film takes place—and how we were going to sustain tension during those scenes.”
Leroy’s first tactic was developing a theme for the central character of Amanda, with whom the audience will likely sympathize the most. “My initial challenge was not just figuring out how to go seamlessly from an action/thriller film into a monster/fantasy film mid-way into the story, but also how to create a sense of overall identity for the film. Having a theme for Amanda and very subtly bringing it back at key moments in the score was key. At the end of the day, this is a story about a mother trying to save her son, and we really wanted that point to come across among (or in spite of) all the other elements in the film.”
To accommodate the extremely varied palette necessary to follow the film’s shifting genres, Leroy utilized a phalanx of electronic and digital tools. “The score ended up calling for a huge amount of analog and digital synthesizers for ambiences and textures, processed strings and reversed percussions, old school keyboards like Rhodes and Hammond organ, electronic pianos, layered acoustic and electronic bass to add rhythm and tension, EQ’ed digital pulses, and a wide array of risers, hits, and percussive sweeps,” he explained. “All of this backed, when necessary, with more traditional orchestral groups like string pads, brass effects, and processed woodwinds.”