Friday, September 22, 2017

Film News: A Little 'House' Music (with Nathan Barr) talks with musician Nathan Barr - mostly about 'Flatliners' - but his working with director Eli Roth (and a recently-purchased theater organ):

NB: Actually, the most exciting [purchase] recently is a theater organ from 20th Century Fox Studios; it was on their scoring stage for 70 years and was used by everyone from Bernard Herrmann (Psycho, Vertigo) to Alex North (Ghost, Spartacus) to Jerry Goldsmith (The Omen, Alien, Poltergeist). I’ve basically spent the last six years planning and designing my new music studio around the organ. It has around 1,400 and something pipes, so it takes four men about two months to install it — it’s huge. It occupies six rooms!

"It’s a very exciting piece in film music history. I’m so excited to be crazy and obsessed enough to have gotten it completely restored and to give it a new home. I look forward to using it next year in my next collaboration with Eli Roth."

MP: The House with a Clock in Its Walls is Eli Roth's next project. Can you tell us anything about it? 

NB: "I literally just came onto the project a couple of weeks ago so I don’t know that much about it either. I can tell you that it’s based on a book from 1973 by John Bellairs and illustrated by Edward Gorey; it was a popular series at the time. I’m just in the process of reading it myself — I love it so far. The movie's going to be a PG. It’s more of a young adult or children’s story than it is anything like Hostel, from what I understand."

MP: Wait, Eli Roth is doing a PG movie? 

NB: "Yeah! It’s really exciting. It’s going to have Cate Blanchett and Jack Black in it — I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of fun to work on."

MP: What’s the vibe of the book like? Are we talking a Grimms-esque tale?

NB: "Well, I’m only on the start up section of the book but yeah, I guess something like that. It's gothic horror. Perhaps somewhere in between Grimms' and Harry Potter. I don't know yet.

"I am pretty sure that this movie will be very thematic, which is very exciting. And I know that Eli is excited about the theater organ. The great thing about the organ is that it's not a church organ — it's much more than that. There are a lot of other instruments in it — there's an actual piano; there are marimbas and xylophones and glockenspiels and cathedral chimes; all actual instruments played mechanically by the person sitting at the keyboard. It's going to blow the doors off what people think an organ is. Eli and I are very excited to re-introduce it to the world in the score for The House with a Clock in Its Walls."

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