“When I first approached Eric to do the score, I had a vague idea that it should incorporate electronic and acoustic instrumentation. It turned out he had been doing some interesting experiments along these lines with a musician named Michael White, who owned a large bank of analog synthesizers, like a fantasy version of an old telephone operator’s switchboard. The two of them had been running orchestral chords through these synths and deforming them, and the results were very exciting… The process was unpredictable and experimental.” — Brandon Cronenberg, Director of Antiviral
In the film Antiviral, a celebrity-obsessed society desires viruses and pathogens that come from famous people. Illness is a commodity. The Lucas Clinic makes its money collecting and selling viruses to the public.
Syd March, excellently portrayed by Caleb Landry Jones (Twin Peaks, Get Out), is an employee of the Lucas Clinic who makes money on the side by smuggling samples of pathogens in his own body to distribute on the black market.
Syd becomes infected with a particularly nasty and deadly contagion he collects from celebrity sensation Hannah Geist (Sarah Gadon). Syd races against time to find a cure while being hunted down by those who want his infected blood.
E.C. Woodley’s score features dark ambient tones and strange electronic sounds with treated piano pieces interspersed. Released in 2013, the album was somewhat ahead of its time, considering the popularity of today’s dark analog experimental electronic scores such as Mac Quayle’s “Mr. Robot”, Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein’s “Stranger Things”, and Adam Wingard’s Blair Witch.
Listen to “Syd Shoots Up,” “Hallucinations,” and “Running” from E.C. Woodley’s score:
Brandon Cronenberg continues:
“Eric and I went through the film from start to finish, discussing what the music should accomplish in both theoretical and specific terms. We decided given the subjective nature of the story that it should be consistently internal, reflecting what was going on in the protagonist’s head rather than what was going on around him. It should be something bodily, sometimes an elevated pulse, sometimes an expression of pain or sickness or bliss.”
This Staff Pick is by John Bergin, Art Director and A&R for Lakeshore Records.
Follow John on Twitter: @JBXX