Premiere: Hear Prateek Rajagopal’s Eerie New Score for ‘A Mother’s Soliloquy’
Currently based in Los Angeles, the guitarist-turned-composer channels electronic, ambient and sinister prog vibes for a new psychological film
About five months into his screen scoring program at the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles, Mumbai and Muscat-bred guitarist and producer Prateek Rajagopal has turned composer in full swing, writing music for orchestras and more. “All of a sudden I love clarinets and trumpets. I had no clue how to use so many instruments to write, but now I have all of these in my tool box,” he says over email.
Rajagopal – known for his work as guitarist and songwriter in brutal death metal band Gutslit and his own project The Minerva Conduct, plus his genre-bending solo work under the moniker HOIA – says he’s surprised he even got into the program, considering an undergraduate degree in music and background in classical music were supposedly pre-requisites to get in. “I think they saw potential in me […] The reason I decided to be a film composer was because I liked too many genres of music — I love death metal as much as I love electronic music or classical composers or film scores.”
After working on a few orchestral arrangements and even taking on the role of a conductor and recordist, he began working with director Cameron Kostopoulos (a student at the School of Cinematic Arts at USC) on the score of psychological film A Mother’s Soliloquy. Rajagopal says the director reached out via a publicly available database even before his year-long course began. “I always believed that a director who thinks about music beforehand is a great director, much like a lot of my favorite directors who really understand the importance of good music in film. So when he reached out to me five months before his shoot even began, I thought it was a good sign.”
With three pieces that clock in at about six minutes, the OST to A Mother’s Soliloquy is murky and tunnels deep into ambient territory, with hair raising electronic turns. Reminiscent of something composer duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross would conjure, Rajagopal cites them as an influence, alongside the likes electronic music producer Aphex Twin, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood and even classical composers such as Pendercki and Tchaikovsky.
While there’s a packed course to keep up with for the next half year, Rajagopal promises he’ll keep writing music as HOIA and already has Gutslit’s next album written, even though he’s exited the band. He says about the material, “It’s some of my most ambitious death metal writing so far. I’ll complete my due diligence of giving the guys a finished and excellent product, and I can’t wait to see the reception of the writing on the next album.”
Listen to ‘A Mother’s Soliloquy’ OST below.