Deliver Us!

Produced by Better Films and Gardens, and written by/starring local NJ music/comedy legends Taylor Allen and Biff Swenson, Deliver Us! is a short comedy about two friends who decide to spend their Thursday night getting stoned and ordering food. Everything's totally fine, until, past a point, it's not, really, anymore.



Scoring this film was a true learning experience. When I was approached by Taylor Allen about the possibility of me contributing music to this movie, I had just begun to learn to use virtual instruments in a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) after years of stubbornly honing my craft on the written page and working with real instruments through human performances of my music. Now, while I use the word "stubborn," I believe that my experience has given me a unique perspective on the modern tools available to composers today, and my approach to using virtual instruments still comes from a place of considering the natural possibilities of each instrument and the ways in which their colors blend with one another. Those things are very important whether you use a DAW or not. They bring the entirety of the musical spectrum into perspective: how instruments make the sounds they do, and how they can multitask, expressing one and many things while still needing to travel over the very same distance, whether that distance be a 7-minute short film, a 2-minute pop song, or a 2-hour feature-length movie.

'Deliver Us!' ushered in a new chapter of music-making for me in my life. Due to the imaginatively absurd concept of the film itself and the new limitless digital playground I now had at my disposal, I felt the music coming from an until-now undiscovered corner of my creative mind. It was a strange combination of the left-to-right, up-and-down, micro--macro, and moment-checked-by-concept compositional perspectives that were constantly pushing themselves in front of one another, jockeying for position, and demanding a higher discerning power which could rein in their varied musical gestures and stay on message (i.e. the Chairman of the Tune). It was a great exercise, and my creative muscles have this film to thank for their newfound levels of proficiency in staying on message when dealing with such heterogeneous source material as a comedy short. 

Some of my favorite moments / things to keep an ear out for: the subtle musical foreshadowing at 0:36 and the line of dialogue it coincides with, the bottle-clink chord, the "3 pounds" rest, the colorful but low-key keyboard lick during the "primo shit" assurance, the surprise entrance of bass clarinet and piccolo to accentuate "we're gonna be hungry" (SERIOUS bonus points to whomever can recognize the orchestral inspiration for the intervallic harmony between them), the triumphant declaration that "Thursday night's alright!", the popcorn guy shakers!, the cocaine bells and chimes, the keys solo near the end pairing rhythmically with "Hoo! Hoo dat?!", the CRAZY piccolo sample I found for the shocking climactic moment of the film [no spoilers], and the end credits! (I know, I have a lot of favorite moments, but I had a lot of fun with this project so I feel like that's a good thing!) Enjoy!