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Steve Horowitz Scores Sundance Hit

Composer Steve Horowitz created the original music score for the Sundance film, Super Size Me, capping off a four-year relationship with director Morgan

Composer Steve Horowitz created the original music score for theSundance film, Super Size Me, capping off a four-yearrelationship with director Morgan Spurlock. The film was picked up byRoadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn, and will be released intheaters across the U.S. this spring.

The movie follows Spurlock for 30 days as he drives himself to nearphysical ruin by eating only McDonalds food. Horowitz scored the moviealmost entirely on his home studio desktop, without the luxury ofreplacing desktop sketches with hundreds of live cues. To compensateand maintain the authentic edge needed to support Spurlock’sgrass-roots documentary, he drew from his experience as a GrammyAward-winning engineer. “When I go to score a film like Morgan’s, Iwant to have a palette that no one else can touch, something beyondswitches and knobs. We tried a lot of different music, but what seemedto work best was a folksy down-home sound.” The basis of these“folksy” tracks were live drum parts culled from his vastcustom library—compiled from nearly 20 years of recording music.”I don’t use two-bar loops. I try and take as big a chunk as possibleso it sounds more natural,” said the composer. Also used on thesetracks were a sampled Horowitz on bass and a live guitar track providedby Andy Barbera.

For the “happy” eating theme that juxtaposes the increasingseriousness of Spurlock’s dilemma, Horowitz put together a virtualre-creation of his own band, The Code International, by digitallyspeeding up and slowly down samples to create a new composition. Thesetechniques were instrumental in giving the film “a livefeel.” Horowitz continued, “The challenge for the newgeneration of composer increasingly faced with projects where they’recalled upon to engineer as well as compose is to harness the power oftoday’s desktop in support of their unique voice and keep it fromgetting lost in a sea of presets and factory samples.”

Horowitz has also written original songs for children’s TV seriesBlues Clues and Dora the Explorer. He won a Grammy Awardfor production work on True Life Blues: The Songs of BillMonroe. Find out more information about Horowitz by visiting