In an intriguing conversation with Great Big Story, two remarkable individuals, musician Mark Korven and master luthier Tony Duggan-Smith, shared the fascinating genesis of the extraordinary musical creation known as the “Apprehension Engine.” The brainchild of Korven, an accomplished composer renowned for his film scores, this unique instrument emerged from a desire to craft an unconventional musical device capable of evoking spine-tingling fear and suspense. To realize this visionary concept, he reached out to the gifted artisan, Duggan-Smith, requesting his unparalleled craftsmanship in bringing this haunting instrument to life.
“So, Mark called me asking me to create a crazy instrument for horror films. Because I’d never done anything like that before, it made me empty out all my pockets and all my drawers of any knick-knacks and bits of bobs I could possibly string together to make it happen for him. And this is what came of it.“
Korven celebrated for his evocative film compositions, conceived the notion of an instrument that would diverge from the harmonious and melodic norms of conventional music. His goal was to craft an auditory experience that could instill a sense of dread and unease, thereby amplifying the emotional impact of cinematic storytelling. Eager to explore new horizons in musical expression, he turned to the remarkable talents of Tony Duggan-Smith, recognizing the luthier’s unparalleled expertise in the realm of instrument construction.
“The Apprehension Engine was an instrument that creates a variety of really creepy and some would say horrifying sounds… You’re dealing with things that stir primal emotions and feelings. …It expresses what really can’t be expressed any other way. It’s not music in the traditional sense, at all. But, let me put this way. The Apprehension Engine definitely evokes an emotion, so I would call it music.“
The collaboration between these two visionaries marked the inception of the “Apprehension Engine,” a remarkable sonic creation that defies tradition. Korven’s imaginative vision and Duggan-Smith’s exceptional craftsmanship converged, resulting in an instrument that could unleash an unsettling symphony of eerie and discordant sounds. This extraordinary collaboration stands as a testament to the power of artistic innovation and interdisciplinary creativity, showcasing how a composer and luthier can join forces to expand the boundaries of musical expression in the pursuit of evoking bone-chilling terror.