Sounds of Ruin

Nicholas Diak is a scholar whose wide-ranging interests encompass neofolk and post-industrial music, Eurospy and neo-peplum films, and H.P. Lovecraft. I first encountered him while we were both writing for Heathen Harvest. I’m honoured that he has taken the time to write an essay on my soundtrack work, Sounds of Ruin: Sublime Sounds in the Hands of Ruin Soundtrack for Watson’s The Fall of the House of Usher:

Watson and Webber go to great lengths to replicate Poe’s sound in their silent film, especially at the end when, as Madeline leaves her encasement, the screen is filled with texts that read “crack,” “ripped,” and “scream.” The words don’t simply appear on the screen, but they flutter or jolt about, sometimes with letters upside down, sometimes backwards, with a variety of striking typefaces. This sequence perfectly replicates on screen what Poe was trying to accomplish in his text.

Hands of Ruin, on the other hand, needs to juggle both the Poe text and the images from the Watson-Webber film to fully capture Poe’s usage of sound.

Read the whole essay.


Leave a Reply