Exclusive interview – Composer Mark Hadley breaks down his Double Walker score
We chat with Double Walker composer Mark Hadley…
She had two choices: live one more day as a human or live forever as a ghost. She chose the latter. Colin West’s ghost story, Double walker, should be released in theaters and on VOD platforms this weekend. The official synopsis goes as follows: A young ghost (producer / co-writer Sylvie Mix) haunts her cold Midwestern hometown, trying to piece together horrific flashes of memories from her past. One by one, she kills the men she believes responsible for her death, though her plan derails when she meets Jack (Jacob Rice), a kind movie bailiff who inadvertently intercepts her as she stalks her next one. victim. As Jack welcomes him and offers him a glimpse into a normal life, his desire to avenge his own murder persists. Composer Mark Hadley’s score, which he describes as ambient and slightly menacing, adds to the haunting story. Some of Hadley’s previous credits include In the dark: my Valentine’s Day, Survival techniques and Rectify. To learn more about Hadley’s rating process for the film and some of her other projects, we’ve spoken to her exclusively below.
What attracted you to the Double Walker screenplay?
What attracted me to the script was the concept and the non-linear aspect of the story. I love movies that take place in fascinating and curious ways, and Double walker definitely had that quality in the script. I also admire co-writer and director Colin West and am always excited about projects with him.
How would you describe your score for the film?
My score for the film is rather ambient and slightly menacing, using unusual metallic textures to capture the cold aesthetic and warmer organic instruments to speak to humanity. I wanted the score to sound like a symphonic poem, so it’s also a bit meditative and seems suspended in time.
Can you talk about your relationship with the film’s writer / director, Colin West. Did he have a very specific idea of what he wanted the score to sound like or did you have more freedom to experiment?
Colin West, besides being a brilliant writer and director, is a close friend and we have a deep mutual respect. It’s a beautiful collaborative environment where I have the confidence and the freedom to experiment and reach new concepts without being confined to a predetermined sound. We had several discussions about how we wanted the movie to feel, what the role of the music should be, and the overall tone. These discussions informed my approach and the way I conceptualized sound and made decisions about instrumentation and tone.
We have heard of some composers including “found objects” in their scores. Did you do something like this with your Double Walker score?
There are many sounds found in this score. I used contact microphones on different metal objects to find disturbing drones. Due to the role played by the spoon in the movie, I recorded different piano parts using a spoon to strike the strings and other parts of the piano. I also worked with a percussionist (Sean Connors of Third Coast Percussion) who brought experimental concepts to the score such as holding an electric toothbrush over a gong to create crackling and dissonant drones and using a violin bow on a vibraphone to create long metallic sounds. .
Did you turn to one instrument more than others for the Double Walker score? Why?
I wanted the score to be cold so we used a lot of metal percussion instruments like gongs, vibraphone, rin and even the almglocken which is a Swedish cowbell (also used the electric toothbrush on this point). We also had to capture a human element, so I also used the piano and cello a lot.
You also take out the music album from the movie. If you had to list one or two tracks for people to listen to, which would they be?
The main title, Double walker, because it captures the essence of the score. Also, the piece New Years, because it is the only moment of the score which offers a more vulnerable, introspective tone as opposed to the rest of the score which is more unsettling.
According to IMDB, you’ve played guitar on shows like Modern Family, Twisted, and Rectify. How did you connect to these shows?
My first gig in LA was working as an assistant to a TV composer, Gabriel Mann, who composed these shows. Because I’m a guitarist, it worked for me to record on these shows during that time.
You founded the company, Repository in 2020 as a ship that specifically focuses on music and sound design for commercial purposes. Can you talk about it a bit more? What gap do you think this company is filling?
I work a lot for commercials and trailers as well as movies, and I’ve often felt that the music in this space is either unoriginal, uninteresting, or one-dimensional. I wanted to bring new sound to this space and bring creative music solutions to music publishers, agencies and supervisors. I’m also interested in spreading equity in this space, so most of the tracks in Repository are collaborations with amazing instrumentalists who have an ongoing interest in music.
Not only have you tagged movies and TV shows, but you’ve also tagged lots of commercials for brands like Apple, Amazon, and Netflix. Can you talk about the advertisements for Apple that you specifically tagged?
For Apple, I had my original tracks licensed, like my song Tomato Soup (by my artist project, Hark Madley) for the iPhone 12 Pro product film and Bass Brain for the iPad air product film in 2020, and I I was also ordered to compose original scores as for the film produced iPhone 13 Pro this year in 2021.
The soundtrack to Mark’s film will also be available digitally on Friday. You can read more about Marc here.