Halloween preview: Composer Fabio Frizzi explains the art of putting music to blood, guts and gore

Frizzi 2 Fulci - Italian horror at the Barbican

Frizzi 2 Fulci - Italian horror at the Barbican - Credit: Archant

This Halloween, the Barbican will see Fabio Frizzi perform music he wrote for the late Italian film director, Lucio Fulci. who directed horror classics such as Zombie Flesh Eaters and City Of The Living Dead. Here, Frizzi tells us about the collaboration.

What drew you to work with the “godfather of gore”?

Fulci surrounded himself with a group of collaborators, trusted elements, people who were able to get in touch with his idea of the film. He was very clear in his artistic demands relating to the soundtrack and I probably could translate his expectations into musical notes. Fulci had a great deal of creativity combined with a knowledge of technical means. Even his first horror, Zombie Flesh Eaters, is an excellent film. What has grown over the years is its popularity around the world – the appreciation and love of his fans is almost unbelievable.

Which of the films did you enjoy working on most?

Each has its goodies. The first was for a western movie, Four of the Apocalypse; I worked with my trio, Bixio-Frizzi-Temper. Lucio asked us to write ballads and the movie was populated with beautiful songs drawing on the West Coast: a musical genre that I had always loved. Great experience and great fun.

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How did you prepare for some of the most gruesome scenes?

You share with the whole staff the creation of all the work from beginning to end. You learn to recognize the tricks, fake blood and assembly in slow motion. When it’s time for­ music, you have to get into the game of emotions, emphasize the flavours and lead viewers by the hand into the story.

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Ennio Morricone, Bruno Nicolai, Berto Pisano, Gianni Ferrio, Stelvio Cipriani – you follow a great heritage of Italian soundtrack composers. Were you influenced by them?

I had the good fortune to know, when I was a boy, personally all these composers (and many others, as Rustichelli and Rota). Each of them has had major influences on me, on my willingness to do this work, and later on my compositional guidelines.

If you could have composed the film soundtracks for any other horror directors, who would they be and why?

Kubrick and Hitchcock. Both knew how to trap the viewer, how to drive you on the trails of fear. But since that has never happened, with them I like to become one of those trapped viewers.

Frizzi to Fulci: Halloween at the Barbican on October 31 at 8pm. Tickets are £15-22.50. Visit barbican.org.uk.

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