Unknown Familiarity :: Composers Shawn Parke & Kim Henninger On Embers

Recently, Portland-based composers Shawn Parke and Kim Henninger released the original soundtrack for Embers, director Claire Carré's science fiction film starring  Jason Ritter,  Iva Gocheva, and  Greta Fernî¡ndez.   Currently streaming on Netflix, the film makes masterful use of the duo's compositions, utilizing their enveloping sound as it explores the concept of "memory."

Aquarium Drunkard asked the duo to run down some of their cinematic music inspirations, and rather than a mere list of likeminded composers, the duo took the opportunity to deeply probe the methods and techniques that inform their work.

In February of 2014 writer/director Claire Carré and writer/producer Charles Spano asked us to write the original score for their first feature Embers. The science fiction film is about memory and forgetting and asks big questions: What role does memory play in who we are? Is there sometimes redemption in forgetting? What do we lose or gain if the collective cataloging of culture disappears? Who are we if stripped of everything but our instincts?

We began work on the score before a frame had been shot — and these questions informed our work. When we were asked to reflect on soundtracks that had inspired and influenced our work we were, at first, taken aback. We had no particular past works in mind as we proceeded through the process of writing the experimental/orchestral score. After giving it some thought it became clear to us that a number of scores -- and more so the techniques employed in their creation -- had woven themselves into our unconscious as we created the music we wrote. The soundtracks and techniques below were woven into our process of creation without us being aware of it — much as the score for Embers weaves itself into the very fabric of the film.

Kimberly Henninger & Shawn Parke :: Now Is Now

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