Expansion Team's Alex Moulton Scores Director Talia Lugacy's Disturbing "Descent"

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Last Updated: November 30, 2007 3:26 pm GMT
(New York City, New York--November 30, 2007) When director Talia Lugacy and producer/star Rosario Dawson were searching for a soundtrack to their film "Descent", they knew it would have to be as visceral and discordant as the film is dark and disturbing. Fortunately, they quickly found that Alex Moulton, founder and composer/creative director at New York's Expansion Team, was on the same creative page.

"We talked about the film, especially the final scene, and how it should feel," said Lugacy. "It was never going to be a traditional film score, which is why Alex was so perfect for it. Alex had some great ideas about how he would go about it, and how it needed to needed to feel - the sound of crazed thinking and haunted minds. I give him so much credit because it's not a scene you want to watch more than once and he went it into it with a great bravery."

For Moulton, the key was to stay away from anything remotely traditional. "From the moment I talked to Talia, I knew the soundtrack would need to be unusual," says Moulton. "That feeling was only stronger after I saw the film. In order to intensify the most disturbing scenes, we went for an intensely visceral, dissonant sound. We were going for feeling and not typical background movie music. This is a dark movie and this is definitely dark music."

Make no mistake: is a revenge film of the first order. Dawson plays Maya, a beautiful and promising college student who seems to be enjoying an innocent flirtation with Jared (Chad Faust). Everything changes, however, when Maya visits Jared's dingy apartment. Following a brutal sexual assault, Maya's life unravels in a haze of drugs and the pulsations of the underground club scene. When she encounters Jared again, she is a decidedly different woman and is not about to show any mercy.

To achieve an appropriate level of primal intensity, Moulton combined an electric guitar, a cello bow and a wide variety of layered tracks and sound effects to create an ethereal yet jarring ambience.

"It kind of sounds like a string orchestra at points," explains Moulton. "But it often sounds like metal scraping and undulating against itself. Talia and I began with several long conversations about what was going on inside this character's head. In order to obtain the right headspace, I watched the movie's most unsettling scenes over and over again. I loved every minute of it, but it also took me to some places I probably wouldn't have chosen to go. For the film's final scene I played about eight different guitar tracks and just rode the levels until they matched what was in my mind. It was very emotional."

Despite the harrowing nature of the work, Moulton expresses nothing but praise and admiration for the film, as well as its director and star.

"The most challenging part of this project was repeatedly gearing myself up to think my way into this character," he says. "I can only imagine what that process was like for Rosario and Talia. When it came to the final climactic scene, I felt a great deal of pressure to heighten the intensity of an already extreme film. I wish there were more projects like this one. It took risks at every turn, and Talia and Rosario had the creative courage to put everything they had into that risk. It was an amazing experience."

Descent is currently playing in select cities including New York, LA, San Francisco, Austin, Portland and Chicago. It will be release on DVD in early 2008.

About Expansion Team:
Expansion Team redefines how music can be created for today's media by building a bridge between the recording, TV, film and advertising industries. They know the importance of a successful brand message and focus on creating impassioned brand aficionados. Led by founder and creative director Alex Moulton and executive producer April Jaffe, Expansion Team is supported by an exceptional roster of talent; an international collective of award-winning producers, songwriters, DJs and remixers. Because they work in studios around the world, an additional network of top session players and vocalists have become part of their growing family. For more information check out: http://www.expansionteam.org

Web Resources:
Click here to visit the Expansion Team website:
http://www.expansionteam.org
Click here to visit the official Descent website:
http://www.descent-movie.com
Click here to read the New York Times review of Descent:
http://movies.nytimes.com/2007/08/10/movies/10desc.html

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