Chris Clark has previous in composing for the screen - his score for the Channel 4/Hulu mini-series Kiri springs to mind - but his music for Adam Egypt Mortimer’s horror movie Daniel Isn’t Real represents Clark’s first film OST. Clark rises to the challenge in style, turning out a score that combines the moodiest of electronics with some sawing, white-knuckle instrumental playing.
The strings are the thing that first strikes you about Daniel Isn’t Real. Clark effectively employs strings to sting throughout Daniel Isn’t Real, their choppy interjections reminiscent of Michael Abels’ tension-mounting compositions for Get Out. The violins and cellos also swell to feverish atonal peaks on moments like ‘Luke Entering’, an opening track that lingers long after its brief runtime.
Piano becomes more prominent as Daniel Isn’t Real goes on, another technique Clark has carried over from the Kiri Variations. Once more the instrument is deployed to create a sense of eeriness - see the broken-music-box twinkle of ‘Diamond Body’ or ‘Volatile’, a tense piece that sounds like Frederic Chopin being chased by ghosts.
Across the course of the record Clark uses rich, thick electronics to augment the feelings being created by the acoustic instruments. Cuts such as ‘I’m Pulling My Face Off’ are nightmarish in the way they fuse loping trip-hop beats with discordant string frenzies; ‘Realm Promo’ has its microtonal polyphony crowded out by some gargantuan bass; ‘Abyss Thick And Wide’ is a totemic, icy drone that lives up to its title.
Clark comes through with some maximalist terror on his OST for Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Daniel Isn’t Real.