Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Q & A with Prince of Swine Composer Gerhard Daum

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself, your background, highlights of your career so far, how you got into this crazy business, and how you became involved with Prince of Swine.

GD: I’m the composer for Prince of Swine. I grew up playing guitar, making music in my own bands, like a lot of kids. I grew out into composing as I went deeper into music, felt limited by rock, wanted to integrate and explore music from all genres and all cultures of the world, music is really a universal language, where we can communicate emotion and meaning below speech. I came on board with Prince of Swine when the music supervisor, Michael Rogers, had me score the intro and played it for the producer.

Q: In your own words, what is Prince of Swine about?

GD: I think it’s a savage love story, a version of Beauty and the Beast. Beauty is the love story or women, and beast is I guess men or raw sexuality or life in Hollywood or America, maybe just how mean and lonely things have gotten between the sexes in post feminist America.

Q: What was it like working on a low budget film?

GD: I want to go on record right now as saying I deserve a hell of a lot more money. That’s the state of music and show biz right now, the bottom has dropped out of the music market because of MP3s and the net, and the same is now happening to indy film. You’ve got to be a guerrilla warrior and you better have a pretty strong love of your art to keep going because it’s a brutal economy out there.

Q: Where there any interesting obstacles or/and creative quick thinking on the set?
GD: I wasn’t on set. Mark came to my studio, he would talk and I hope unwind, decompress, in a safe and beautiful, magical place, he would just relax with me after the war of production, tell me what was in his soul and what the movie meant to him, and I’d listen, much like a therapist, and translate that into music, just based on his ideas/feelings for the movie, what I saw onscreen and just how these things moved me in my own soul, my own musical landscape. There were some difficulties getting it out – if there are no difficulties why go to therapy? Music is the barbarous expression of the human soul, no? Takes time and talent to tame the beast, the beast is dangerous, sometimes it bucks, causes bumps.

Q: Did you learn anything about yourself or others from the experience?

GD: The best experience working with Mark was feeling his enthusiasm, he did a great job as a director and actor, turning his ideas into reality. He is very sensitive, is able to listen to other ideas and getting the best out of everybody working on the film.

Q: What was your favorite moment working on the film?

GD: Getting into Mark’s head and finding a musical structure and beat that works well with the movie was a lot of fun.

Q: Tell me about the English Horn?

GD: He couldn’t shut up about that damn horn after I suggested it to him! He loved that thing. It’s not an instrument used much in modern music, it’s deeper and more authentically poignant than an oboe, tragic, it evokes Julie’s sadness and pain, like the English countryside in a romance novel, sense of being lost, a lost soul, her dark night of the soul and coming through that to the morning. There was another instrument I couldn’t get him to shut up about, it’s a hybrid I invented, using an African squash, a native instrument, we pass it over a wooden keyboard, or even a modern stainless steel one or through an electric keyboard, and you end up with an atonal, sort of mischeivous, joyous sound, very typical of African music, but brought into a modern context. He couldn’t shut up or sit down whenever I used that instrument.

Q: Switching channels from the sublime and universal to the political, are you a feminist?

GD: I don’t think in such categories like feminist or anti feminist, the relationship between the partners should be balanced out.

Q: Is it men or women who rule Hollywood?

GD: Money rules Hollywood, whoever has it, rules.

Q: Is Prince of Swine a movie about men or about women?

GD: The vantage point leads in both directions. One can detect the dark side and prejudice in both sexes, but there is always hope. (visit Gerhard at

Prince of Swine opens at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip at Crescent Heights, Memorial Day Weekend, for a limited engagement, May 28th to June 3rd.

Get tickets for Prince of Swine online at the Laemmle Sunset 5 or the Prince of Swine website (discounts available for advance and group purchasers).

Join the Prince of Swine revolution on Twitter and Facebook.

Visit Prince of Swine at http//

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