Sydney-based Flame’s latest TV production pits an international team of ghost hunters against some of colonial Australia’s oldest paranormal mysteries – which wasn’t meant to spook Mr Peach as he developed the show’s musical atmosphere, but did. A bit. Just a bit.
Airing on SyFy, Haunting Australia hits screens for the first time on Monday 3rd February 2014 at 8.30pm NSW time and features a team of six paranormal investigators from around the globe, lead by Robb Demarest, as they delve into a part of the world with many unusual and still rather unexplored stories to tell. And all featuring a haunting musical soundscape by Momo:tempo.
“It’s not the sort of show I’d seen before” Timo Peach explains, from his shed on the other side of the world in Bournemouth. “But my first unguarded thought when the nice team at Flame approached me about joining the production was: Oh that could be fun! ”
“Of course,” he continues, “I did also wonder just what I might be getting myself into. I think many outside the genre see ghost hunting shows as much more to do with theatre and myth – even faith – than hard science. But the more I considered the show and chatted with producer Astrid Sampson, the more I was darned intrigued to find out just what the team found out. Whatever your view on the paranormal and spiritual matters, the human stories behind these incidents are compelling and often moving – and very weird stuff is certainly going on at the sites the team investigated. And investigation is really at the heart of this team’s approach – ‘let’s go look at what’s happening and what the evidence tells us’. Fascinating.”
It wasn’t quite the typical cosy edit for a composer though. “No, it wasn’t,” Mr Peach grins, “There were many odd occurrences and things to make you jump in the raw edits I was watching. Tuesday mornings aren’t meant to be spill-your-tea spooky!”
The tone of the show’s sound is largely very minimal and empty, though it has moments of energetic TV theatre here and there.
“It’s hard to avoid Scooby Do in your first few cues, as Astrid cheerfully warned me it would be. Not least of which because it’s an awful lot of fun to make cartoon ghost music. But what I enjoyed about the sound we developed for this show is how sparse and minimal and electronic it is. More sound design than music for most of it, but with some nice musical moods in there too. I’ve loved creating it. And it was a real collaboration getting the right sonic landscape into the edits – editor Ron Molnar was great at pulling out and putting together great sequences and combinations of the cues I made, and Astrid and the team knew what they were going for. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience working with them on this.”
You can now hear a selection of pieces from the show on a playlist on the Soundcloud pages. And with a bootleg compilation of Momo:tempo’s pieces from Haunting Australia lurking around the studio, you might always be able to even nudge Mr Peach for a cheeky copy of much more of his scariest, weirdest musical project to date.