The First Purge

The First Purge

Recently had the distinct pleasure of collaborating again with long time friend and colleague Gerard McMurray on The First Purge, which is a prequel depicting the origins of the first annual “Purge”, a 12-hour period in which all crime in America is legal.

This was a remarkable project to be part of, and was filled with many rewards and challenges. My goal when setting out to compose this score was to capture the terror, surrealism, and tension that one might experience being part of such a harrowing experiment. The movie covers so much ground, from horror and suspense to emotional and human; from intense action to hard hitting urban (including teaming up with rapper Desiigner), so covering all that landscape musically was certainly a challenge. The primary way I addressed this was by having a unique sound palette and always having familiar musical elements present in each sub-section of music, so despite the music jumping from one vibe to another, it all sounds cohesive. I used a lot of processed audio (screams, gunfire, etc…), vintage analog synths and effects, vocals and African-American spirituals, as well as traditional instruments (strings, piano) to create a distinctive but modular and flexible sound tapestry. Also, Gerard and I wanted to bring some soul to the score, as there’s very real and raw moments in the movie regarding human decisions, so we set out to bolster those moments with evocative but tactful musical ideas. Overall, extremely pleased with how the score came together and eager for the movie and score to make its way out into the world!





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