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  • Writer's pictureDave

"Horizon" IV. Sunrise (2012) - Film Score

Sharing the work Part 6:

This is is the last cue of the score I wrote to my friend Preston Jeter's film 'Horizon'.

It has been really fun looking back at some of these early works.

I was so lucky to have been asked to work on this film.

The music had a really important role as the movie was silent, there was no dialogue.

The music begins as the sun peaks out. The characters watch the sun. It will be their final act.

The cue had to capture that feeling of bliss, of pure resolution.

Be peaceful and fulfilling, but not overpowering. Just calm. Fading away, just like the main characters.

This music closes out the movie, leading to the credits.


I learned many things making the score to 'Horizon'.

  1. Be ready to jump in at a moments notice with a new solution. In one of the recording sessions for this score, a musician with a key part, was missing. At the time, I didn't have a way to contact them, and I had to basically improvise a new arrangement on the spot. It was terrifying, but it taught me the valuable lesson of being quick on your feet. There is always a solution out there. Even if you take a super long time to come up with something, you also need to be able to abandon it immediately in favor of a new solution. And actually, what we ended up moving forward with was a lot better than what I had originally come up with. Which leads me to the next idea:

  2. Often, it is the simplest idea that wins. It is easy to think that the more complicated or daringly constructed the music is, the more appealing or satisfying it is. When it feels good to us as creators, it should feel good to everyone else right? But this is not always the case. Especially in collaborations, the simplest and smallest idea can often be more effective because it leaves you room to grow, to change, to adapt. So don't ever rule out even the most simplest of musical ideas. In the end, it is all about what the director wants it to feel like.

Many thanks to the fantastic musicians who played in the recording session, and a special thank you to John McKeever who conducted the session and learned the score very quickly.

And of course, a special thank you to Preston, who asked me to write this. I hope we get to collaborate again.

Horizon is scored for clarinet, tenor saxophone, trumpet, trombone, vibraphone, piano, and strings. It was written in 2012.


This is the latest episode of the Sand Dollar Podcast. I'd love it if you check it out :)


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