Composer Christian Davis Discusses the Frightening Soundscape of The Nameless Days

On the border between United States and Mexico, once every 20 years, there are days that locals call timelessness. At this time the gods, to whom the ancient Mayan tribes made sacrifices, descend to earth to take human souls. This is the premise of Vertical Entertainment’s new survival horror/thriller, The Nameless Days, directed by Andrew Mecham and Matthew Whedon. The official synopsis being: Young immigrant Rahui and his pregnant sister are attacked and separated by a demonic spirit as they embark on a dangerous trek across the U.S. border. Injured but determined to survive, Rahui must rescue his sister before the demon takes the one thing she was denied in life–a baby. 

Adding to the intensity of the film is the score by Christian Davis. Christian previously worked with Whedon and Mecham on their last horror film, Behind You. Don’t expect a similar sound though, Christian explains that they wanted something totally different for The Nameless Days. He talks about this and much more in the below exclusive interview. *The Nameless Days is available now on VOD. You can listen to Christian’s score here: https://music.apple.com/us/album/the-nameless-days-original-motion-picture-soundtrack/1617755193. 

-You collaborated with directors Andrew Mecham and Matthew Whedon on another horror film, Behind You. Because of this, did they allow you to experiment more with the sound of the film?

I think there was definitely a level of trust garnered from having successfully completed a film together.  That combined with the fact that this film, The Nameless Days, was very different than Behind You and frankly demanded experimentation.  And the result is a very unique and different score.  

-How would you say your collaboration with them was different, than when you did Behind You?

Well, there is definitely a short hand after having worked with someone before.  There’s a level of trust there on the second one, so they gave me more room to run with ideas before reigning me back in a little bit.

-Can you talk about what you did to prepare for The Nameless Days? How did you build your sound palate?

Andrew and Matt wanted the whole movie to feel sparse and ambient, so I spent a lot of time finding and building experimental soundscapes, things that didn’t sound like anything recognizable.  Then there’s the creature in which is of ancient Aztec origin, so I implemented some ethnic Aztec instruments. You’ll notice some Aztec hand percussion and the Aztec death whistle every time the creature is near.

-How would you describe The Nameless Days score?

A sparse, brooding, inorganic, frightening soundscape.

-When the directors come to you to make a scene scarier, do you have a “go to” instrument?

I don’t have a go to instrument exactly, but I always love to use dissonant soundscapes, things that are bending and rubbing.  Then I combine that with low end grinders, trombones & bass, or some really cool low end synth.

-Do you find that films in the horror genre come with their own set of guidelines when it comes to the music?

Yes and no.  Every genre has its guidelines and tropes.  And a good score always has to serve the story. With horror films the objective of the story is tension and scares.  So the score has to serve that, but the most exciting horror scores are the ones that break the rules and really surprise you.

-What has been your favorite horror film in the past year?

I really loved “Last Night In Soho” Edgar Wright is a genius!!

Written by
Ash Hamilton is not only the owner of Horror-Fix.com, but also one of its major contributors. A long time horror movie enthusiast, Ash has lent his personality to radio and television and continues to support his favorite genre through his writing and art. He also loves beef jerky and puppies... and low-grade street-quality hallucinogens.

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