Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Pulling the emotion out

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Music | March 28th, 2018

Lord BuffaloBy Octavio Gomez and Sabrina Hornung
octavio@hpr1.com, sabrina@hpr1.com

There’s a certain level of intensity, maybe even urgency, behind the sound of the Austin-based mud folk band Lord Buffalo. Their atmospheric sound paints sonic soundscapes as stark as the desert landscapes they’re inspired by. It only makes sense that they would catch the ear of Austin filmmaker Keith Maitland and that their work would be featured on the soundtrack for his film “Tower.”

“Tower” made it’s grand debut at SXSW in 2016, 50 years after the horrific 1966 shootings at the University of Texas at Austin, one of the first mass school shootings in the U.S. The tragedy left 16 dead and three dozen wounded. The 2016 documentary tells the story with rotoscope animation and archival footage. It also includes the previously unheard stories of those who survived that fatal day.

We had the opportunity to speak with Patrick Patterson of Lord Buffalo before their gig at The North Door during SXSW this year.

High Plains Reader: When you’re in a scenario where you’re being asked to do a musical score for a film, and you know what the film is about, do you have to write the lyrics first, or do you build the music first?

Patrick Patterson: Well, luckily for us, with film stuff it’s instrumental. They don't want the lyrics in there. They have to loop it and they have to do things. But it is interesting because film work, a lot of times, a certain character has like a note. You have to do a riff for this character to enter the scene, and a different riff for another character, that has a certain personality.

HPR: So do you do the musical score after the film has been produced, or as the scenes are produced, or for the scenes that are already finished?

PP: Usually kind of both. In this case, it wasn't finished. But the filmmaker was extremely passionate about getting Austin musicians involved--local music...

HPR: You get a film piece and then you say "We need a musical score..."

PP: You get pieces of it, and you write the score, but about the rest of it, you just don't know, and you throw a whole bunch of stuff at the wall, and you're like, okay...here’s 15 tracks of what we’re doing it’s kind of a mediocre slice that you pull out--like do you like this? Do you like this tone? It's hard...

HPR: You gotta know what you'll be presenting.

PP: It’s like a musician trying to get a music video to describe what you want to do to a filmmaker, and then a filmmaker who’s very film-focused trying to describe what they need musically. Sometimes it’s a tough conversation. In our case it worked out really well, communication was open, we got to see little clips here and there. The first time I saw it all the way through was at South by -- we went to the Paramount -- we all watched it together and just -- we didn't know where they placed anything or what they did.

HPR: You had no control over the end result?

PP: No control over the end result, but we put 100% of our trust in what they were doing--because we stood behind what they were doing. We knew they were going to do it right, and they did, and it was fantastic. And we just sat there and...it was crazy...a lot of that stuff you can never play the same way twice. There’s a piece where it’s just Garrett and I -- I’m playing violin, he’s playing guitar, right when the officer is going up the stairs to the tower, deputizing the citizen and they know when they get to the top, they gotta kill somebody. It’s tense, man, we’re sitting there watching and I was like, I'll never play that song the same way again, it was so emotional. I could never play that song the same--I mean it can really affect your music! It did what it was supposed to do--it pulled the emotion out.

HPR: Did you do a lot of back and forth with them--like you send them a proof and they send you a sample?

PP: It's interesting because with film, you write the full piece of music and they just take a seven second clip of it. You write the same lick but with different themes. I say they only use seven seconds but that’s the hardest thing to do! Write an intro, crescendo and bring it to a peak and write a resolve all in 15 seconds. That's hard shit, man, people that write films and commercials and all that stuff are remarkable. You don't think about that stuff. It goes through your brain super fast. Writing a 15 or 30 second piece of music? That stuff is HARD work.

HPR: How did the people producing the film find you guys?

PP: I did some work with them in the past, they did a documentary called “Eyes of Me,” that was about the Texas school for the blind.” I’ve done some work with them and they asked me about a bunch of different bands. I’ve lived here for almost 20 years, so I happen to know some people and they’ll just hit you up and ask you if you’re working on anything. It’s a very supportive town. Filmmakers support each other, musicians support each other. There’s not a lot of records sold these days so you gotta get into film work. It’s incredibly rewarding work and it’s a lot of work but it puts you out of your element, man.

YOU SHOULD KNOW

www.lordbuffalo.com

Recently in:

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Attorney General’s office announced Friday it is suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for gross negligence and tortious acts during the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy in 2016.The state has…

The 45th Annual Downtown Fargo Street Fair has been making efforts to increase the number of local vendors. The Local Block will be located at the north end of the 300 block on Broadway, near the Fargo Theatre.The High Plains…

Thursday, July 26 at 5 p.m.-midnightFargo Brewing Company, 610 N University, FargoHip hop artist, community activist, and member of Rhymesayers, Brother Ali will appear with Nooky Jones at The Fargo Brewing Company. Nooky Jones was…

With all of the excitement surrounding the legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana, why aren’t we discussing the possibilities of industrial hemp? You might not catch a buzz from it but there’s all kinds of other…

“Hi Ho, Hi Ho! It’s Off To Work We Go!”How many undocumented workers are in the United States? Estimates range from 11 to 25 million. We need some history to understand why our immigration laws are in such a mess. The most…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

All About Food

​Food truck fever

by HPR Contributor

By Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.comHave you all been to Taco Brothers Taco Truck yet? Or how about Poke Bowl Food Truck? Have you tried the Walleye Wrap at Chef Mobile? There may have been a few mobile food establishments in decades…

We had a chance to chat with Duluth native Gaelynn Lea at Winnipeg Folk Festival. Not only did she tell us how she developed her sound she told us about her experience winning the NPR Tiny Desk Concert and the trials and…

Boots Riley hallucinates a wildly funny feature debut with “Sorry to Bother You,” a sharp-fanged social satire that mashes up the innovative handmade aesthetics of Michel Gondry with the fierce truth-to-power consciousness of…

Arts

Dan Mihuta: The Art Maker

by HPR Contributor

By Rod Hadland rodanthonyhadland@gmail.comThe name Mr. Mihuta may not be familiar, but for most of my life, I’ve known that name. There was a television show where Mr. Mihuta taught art projects, in various mediums, that I…

Theatre

Xanadu: The Musical

by HPR Contributor

By Tayler Klimektklimek@cord.eduGet ready to dive into a world full of demi-gods, mythological creatures, and plenty of disco balls when you see Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater’s exciting first show of its 72nd season:…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

Once a year, fans of beer in the FM area have access to what their heart desires... bragging rights. The Rare Beer Picnic grants beer aficionados the ability to taste whatever their heart desires from their favorite beer…

Best Local CelebrityCarson WentzBest Stylist / BarberJed Felix, Everett’s BarbershopBest Salon / Barber ShopEverett’s BarbershopBest Tattoo Parlor46 & 2 TattooBest Tattoo ArtistMeg Felix, No Coast TattooBest Gift ShopZandbroz…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

By Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.edu Recognition of the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.- The United Nations…