Benjamin Shwartz: The Point of No Return

The composer goes dark for second installment of the award-winning Mexican horror film KM31: Sin Retorno

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: January 6, 2016

Benjamin Shwartz: The Point of No Return

Eight years ago director Rigoberto Castaneda terrified audiences across the globe with the highway horror film KM 31. The long awaited sequel, KM31: Sin Retorno (KM31: Without Return), is coming in 2016 and bringing with it more mind-bending frights along with Mexican horror extraordinaire Benjamin Schwartz, who is in charge of creating the chilling soundtrack. We caught up with the composer to get a "first look" into the bloodcurdling follow-up.

Being entrusted with the sequel to the award-winning KM 31 was a major feat that took Schwartz to great experimental depths and new artistic experiences.

"I was really excited to be invited to join this great project, but I also felt a big responsibility to offer something big. It was a pleasure to work on a horror film once more, it gave me the opportunity to explore musical possibilities with a full orchestra in Macedonia!"

Surpassing the hair-raising sounds of the first KM 31 movie was an exciting job for the fan of vintage films. For the second installment, Shwartz's goal was to create a bone chilling score that would haunt both new and old fans alike. In order to do this he submerged himself in the world of horror.

"In order to get in that mindset I started watching every horror movie I could think of both old and new and finished with the classics," he recalls.

Watching countless horror flicks served both as research for the score and a sonic indulgence for Shwartz whose musical style leans towards that of renowned composer suspense maverick Bernard Herrmann (Citizen Kane, Cape Fear, and Taxi Driver).

"I love the tension and suspense that music can provoke so I went down that road. Luckily Rigo, the KM31 director, is also a fan of that style of music. The idea was not to make the music sound old, but making new music with the spirit of a classic horror movie," explains Schwartz who used a full orchestra for the dark soundtrack.

"By using the orchestra I was able to create unique textures and the ideal tone for the film," he says proudly. "I took a different direction from the first film. I really liked the music of the first one, but I needed it to have more strength and more power so I decided to step out of what already existed."

To create the eerie score Shwartz interchanged parts of instruments and combined their sound with recorded noises from his private collection.

"I used a mariachi bass guitar and played with a bow for a cello. I also recorded sounds of exotic instruments that I collected during my travels in Mexico and used them in an unconventional way."

The fact that Shwartz is an avant-garde musician means he is accustomed to easily flowing between genres.

"I worked on a comedy called The Noble Family and recently finished the dramedy Club of Crows. I've worked on dramatic scores and but also have experience with more rock oriented films like Eddie Reynolds and the Angels Steel," says the musician whose career began at age 6 year playing the violin and the piano.

Shwartz also recently debuted the soundtrack for the new Netflix original series, Club de Cuervos. The series, which recently debuted in Europe, is a clever soccer dramedy starring Luis Gerardo M?®ndez and Mariana Trevi??o. The show itself is hilariously entertaining and full of unsuspected turns that Europe is sure to love.

You can find the eclectic composer touring the U.S. and Europe this winter with his band Klezmerson, which is a combination of both Jewish and Mexican music with rock and jazz.

For more information and tour dates please visit: [url=http://www.klezmerson.com/www.klezmerson.com/[/url]

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