Demo - Nightmare Alley

Guillermo del Toro


My idea is to use certain elements that could be found in a carney/circus and mix them with our orchestra to form an original soundscape that is directly inspired by the story.

We open the piece with a theme on the piano that never quite resolves, just like Stan Carlisle’s mind and greed. The female voice represents Dorrie, Ezra Grindle’s deceased wife that comes to haunt Carlisle for the way he’s taking advantage and scamming everyone in the city.

At the end, we have the “geek’s” theme. The low male voice alongside the dissonant harmony creates a dismal aesthetic that reminds us about the ferociousness of the geek and the grim future that awaits our protagonist. This theme can be used in different ways when we want to evoke Carlisle’s fear of succumbing to his greed and vices.

Music by Kevin Smithers

Voice: Emily Rosenberg, Andrew Napier & Kevin Smithers

Viola: Taylor Cooksey

Mastered at Abbey Road Studios, London UK