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Joachim Horsley Was Dead The Whole Time by Joachim Horsley (Review)

posted Oct 30, 2014, 1:11 PM by Kaya Savas

Joachim Horsley is an extremely talented composer who should be discovered by all. While his solo work as a composer is very noteworthy, he is also Anton Sanko’s go-to orchestrator. And whether he is composing or orchestrating, Joachim is no stranger to the horror genre. Also does anyone notice that orchestrator’s usually end up being amazing composers? I mean listen to Benjamin Wallfisch or Conrad Pope when you get a chance too! Joachim Horsely’s score writing is on full display here on this compilation album, which is part love letter to Bernard Herrmann and part Joachim Horsley showcase.

Horsley has done something pretty wonderful, by shining a light on his work in short films. By weaving some of his work in horror with some original pieces, he has compiled a great standalone album that comes together for a wonderful musical journey. The album opens with Horsely’s cover of Herrmann’s Psycho theme, but in true Horsley fashion he approaches it very uniquely. The theme is played on a piano… with knives! Watch the video I embedded below to see how Horsley turned one of horror’s classic themes into a unique take. The rest of the album includes selections from various horror short films that Horsley has scored. You’ll definitely notice a stylistic current running through them, even though the ones from different films will no doubt sound a tad different. They still work as a whole album. There are two original pieces here that help glue the whole experience together. What stands out about Horsley’s horror writing is how emotionally infused it is. This is how horror scoring should be, never trying to be scary but working more on an emotional level than gut reactions. The music embeds itself into your head and works from there, instead of finding uneasy sounds there are wonderful melodies. The music never tries to do what the image is doing, instead it accompanies it with the inner emotional state of the narrative. This is what makes Horsley stand out as a composer, he truly gets the genre and delivers us a wonderfully stirring horror experience.

If you love Bernard Herrmann as much as Joachim Horsley does, then you’ll love Joachim Horsley Was Dead The Whole Time. This is a wonderful chance to discover Joachim Horsley the composer, and hopefully place him on your radar. His wonderful writing and melodic style is on full display here. The whole album experience works, even though the album is a compilation of scores from different short films. Treat yourself to this gem just in time for Halloween.

Psycho Theme on Piano with Knives