2. PSALM 21


Price(USD): $20.80

CD No: SSW11007
Release Date:
Format: 1CD

Although MovieScore Media and Screamworks Records hail from Sweden, we rarely release music from our own backyard - but here is a rare example of a Swedish horror score that stands out as a truly exciting genre work second to none of the better known Hollywood musical chillers. Psalm 21, a stylish psychological horror film with an abundance of religious motifs, standout visual effects and an eerie atmosphere, features a colourful orchestral score by Christer Christensson, a composer who wrote a lot of music for stage plays before writing this, his first full-blown feature film score. It’s an impressive debut where a lot of experimental techniques and ideas are used throughout the score but where the backbone of the music is thematic and melodic. One of the stand-out cues is called “Adagio: Words of Love”, where the strings build slowly and with great passion into the grand finale of the score. First edition of the CD is limited to 500 copies.

Swedish horror film Psalm 21, directed by Fredrik Hiller and starring Jonas Malmsjo, Julia Dufvenius and Per Ragnar (Let the Right One In), tells the story of beloved young priest Henrik Horneus who learns that his father, also a priest, has been found drowned in a lake in Hammerdal. He drives alone, in the middle of the night, to his father’s hometown. On his way there mysterious events occur and a frightening story where the young priest encounters both his own and other demons unfold.

The colourful orchestral score for the Psalm 21 was written by film music newcomer Christer Christensson. Swedish films are usually sparsely scored, but Psalm 21 is different. There is a lot of room for the music to contribute to the storytelling and pacing. ”As I’ve been working with Fredrik a lot before I knew that there was going to be a lot of music in the film. I noticed as I came in, very early in the process, that he had a clear vision of what the music should bring to the movie. Then, even before it was shot, we went through the script and had a lot of talking about the scenes and his vision. We discussed different ways of how the music should be approached in ways of instrumentation, live orchestra or not and talking about different composers etc. We arrived at the conclusion that we should try to have Hollywood approach but in a Swedish way and I don’t know if that is what came out of it, but it has a more international appeal than the typical Swedish film.

Christer previously worked with the director in theatre. “For me it was a very natural transition because I think that I’ve always approached my scoring for the theatre in a very cinematic way,” Christer says. “The main difference is that theatre is live. Even if it’s really well rehearsed, it’s always different from the night before. For me it means that the tempo, for example, is slightly different from night to night. Also, dialogue in a play is usually with acoustic voices which has its consequences for the music in terms of getting the desired dramatic effect without drenching the actors’ voices.”

Christer says that he is influenced by a lot of different musicians and composers “from almost any genre.” “To name a few there is Steve Reich, Keith Jarrett, Arvo Part, Bjork, Henryk Gorecki, Peter Gabriel, igor Stravinsky, Samuel Barber, Bernard Herrmann… and a lot of others.”

Track List

1. Introitus 1:33
2. O Father, Why Have You Left? 1:17
3. Out in the Forest and Into the Mind 4:23
4. Cantus Confessione 1:36
5. The Little Girl 1:19
6. Requiem for a Victim 1:40
7. Nightmare Elegy 2:16
8. A Call from the World Outside 2:09
9. What Is Truth? 2:00
10. What Do You Want From Me? 2:05
11. Romance for a Wounded Soul 3:07
12. Psalmus Unico 1:57
13. Miserere Patris, Miserere 7:02
14. Why, Henrik, Why? 3:35
15. In Pace 1:56
16. Reconciliation 4:13
17. Adagio: Words of Love 6:27
18. Hymnus 0:57