Romola wanted to bring the voices of powerful, avenging female goddesses into the film. I did so by writing for a declamatory, female trio singing in tight harmonies. An assured and eerie female voice opens the film and becomes the seed for much of what follows. Sometimes she’s heard directly; more often she’s smeared and stretched sonically to create indefinable yet faintly humanistic wails.
Musically, I was keen to find moments where malevolent music oozes out of the bricks, mortar, plumbing and stale air of the house where the film is set – this reflects the visual aesthetic. I wanted it to be unclear where the sound design for the house ends and the music begins. I tailored cues in detail so they taper in and out of the more disturbing sounds of the house. It was great to work with the film’s sound designer Nick Baldock to explore such effects.
Sarah Angliss received an Ivor Novello Award (category: Visionary) for her body of music, including the score for Amulet.
Film score composed and produced by Sarah Angliss; performed by the following musicians:
Sarah Gabriel (opening cue and vocal trio)
Melanie Pappenheim (Magda’s theme and vocal trio)
Robin Hallett (child’s theme)
Stephen Bentley-Klein (bass guitar)
Stephen Hiscock (percussion)
Sarah Angliss (keyboards, strings, contrabass recorder and electronics)
Lyrics for Main Title by Romola Garai; other lyrics from The Poetic Edda.
A young man is brought to a dilapidated house in order to care for a woman and her elderly, dying mother. Falling in love with the younger woman, he begins to suspect she is enslaved to a demon, and resolves to fight the creature and rescue the woman he loves…but all is not what it seems.
You can read more about the score and how it fits into the language of Garai’s film in this interview with Stephen Saito.
Read a detailed review of the score by Daniel Schweiger of the Film Music Magazine Institute.