“For JIGSAW I actually started working on the score by concentrating on the end of the film, because there would need to be two thematic cues that came before the obligatory re-interpretation of ‘Hello Zepp,’” described Clouser, the composer of the previous seven films in the SAW franchise. “Each film has its own musical vocabulary that is grafted onto the established tonal framework, and there are certain chord progressions, subtle melodies, and trademark sounds that helped to give that sense of continuity across the whole franchise.”
This October 27, Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures proudly present JIGSAW! After a series of murders bearing all the markings of the Jigsaw killer, law enforcement find themselves chasing the ghost of a man dead for over a decade and embroiled in a new game that’s only just begun. Is John Kramer back from the dead to remind the world to be grateful for the gift of life? Or is this a trap set by a killer with designs of their own?
“There’s a builder of experimental musical instruments named Chas Smith that I’ve worked with since the first SAW film, although in the past I’ve always gone to his studio to record because most of his instruments are permanently installed and far too bulky to be moved,” Clouser explained. “When I was just beginning work on JIGSAW, Chas was preparing to move his studio for the first time in more than thirty years, and I was able to convince him to finally sell me one of the instruments that I’ve used on all of the SAW scores! This instrument, called Que Lastas, has a large sheet of stainless steel with piano strings and metal rods attached. It is played with a cello bow to create scary tones that are often dissonant but always ominous. It’s become an important part of my sonic palette for the SAW films, and I’m so happy to have been able to finally bring it home.”
In addition to the Que Lastas, Clouser “also used a Chinese ghuzheng, played with a bow to create shuddering patterns that create a sense of nervous tension, as well as a pedal steel guitar that I play with an e-bow to create more ominous drone-like tones. Besides all of these weird acoustic sources, I also used my collection of modular synthesizers and circuit-bent toy instruments for many of the more aggressive electronic sounds, and of course there were plenty of heavy, hard industrial metal guitar sounds in there as well.”
A musician since childhood, Charlie Clouser studied electronic music in college in the early 1980’s, and spent the rest of that decade in NYC making records and programming synths on television scores. In the 1990’s he moved to Los Angeles where he began working with Trent Reznor during the making of The Downward Spiral, NIN’s four-million selling breakthrough album, and joined the band as the keyboard player during the subsequent tour. He remained as the keyboard player with NIN throughout the making of The Fragile in New Orleans and multiple touring cycles, during which he also managed to rack up an impressive list of remix and production credits for dozens of artists such as Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, David Bowie, Helmet, Rammstein, and many others. After leaving NIN in 2001, he returned to Los Angeles to resume his film and television career, and has since scored over 250 hours of television dramas across six series on four networks, including the gritty theme for Fox’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY and the haunting score for WAYWARD PINES, as well as fifteen feature films including all eight of the movies in the successful Saw horror franchise. He is married to Zoe Wiseman, a photographer who shoots many of the dark and atmospheric images found in the artwork for his album releases.
Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures present JIGSAW in theaters nationwide on October 27, 2017. Lakeshore Records will release the JIGSAW – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack the same day.