Dear Mr. Williams:
Thank you for coming to see Defiant’s latest (and last) show, A Clockwork Orange [“Young Rebels,” September 17]. I feel that I must point out an error in your review: at no time did I ever use Bernard Herrmann in any form. I’m the sound designer, so I’m quite sure about that.
I worked very hard to create a cohesive sound for the show that would not only have the dystopic “taste” of Alex’s world, but it also had to echo and support Burgess’s themes. The strongest element that I worked from was the strange dichotomy of Alex’s tastes: his profane appetite for destruction (tongue in cheek there) to his love of the sublime manifesting in Beethoven and the classical idea of beauty.
It was a no-brainer to pick several composers from which to illustrate the sublime. I used (of course) Beethoven’s Ninth, as it is mentioned directly in the script/ book and is Alex’s chief love, but I also used Haydn (Beethoven’s teacher), Handel’s Messiah, and I broke down and used Orff’s often overused Carmina Burana be-cause the scene simply screamed for its use. Some odd bedfellows that fell into the sublime were Apocalyptica (a Swedish string quartet that does nothing but Metallica covers) and a full two minutes of AlanParsons Project.
For contrast to the sublime I chose modern music (mainly percussive–no guitars) that would brutally drive the fights and reflect Alex’s lust for the old ultraviolence. The majority of this was comprised of Laibach, a Czech band that were seminal in industrial music. I also used a speck of Freight Elevator Quartet, a small section from Kronos Quartet, the piano bang at the end of the Beatles’ “Day in the Life,” and I myself composed the song that Carmen Aiello sings in the milk bar (and contains the only bit of guitar) as well as some other sections of incidental music.
No other composers, bands, or recordings were used in this production. I don’t know what you heard that you took to be Herr-mann’s Psycho, but I can assure you that you are quite mistaken.