Irv Johnson Music Composer & Film Whisperer


This was an indie horror feature I recently scored.
Horror is a wonderful genre, especially for composers, if only for the exploration of new sound as this genre allows for so much creativity..
Still, one has to be careful not fall into the obvious tropes, while of course delivering on all the obvious tropes. However, I have discovered that if one simply piles on ugly sound after ugly sound without breaks, the audience becomes comforted by the wall of sound instead. Therefore, the key to a successful score for horror, lies in first, the dynamics (loud and soft) orchestra/underscore, to uncomfortable breaks of silence, then adding a native sound bank created out of elements from the score using fx.
This particular film was the first feature for this duo as a team, with co-Director David Allensworth having had success with shorts prior to as well as co-Director Moniere with his first feature "Dissonance" that I also scored in 2008.
Although the budget had limitations, the sound designer, Angelo Panetta, and I worked hard to create a sound for this film that is quite grand in its scope the film is mixed in Atmos, thereby giving it a 360 degree sound field.
Soul To Keep is currently in the festival circuit having had its world premiere in October at Shriekfest 2018.

Soul to Keep was directed by David Allensworth and Moniere for Shady Tree Films.


Date created: April 2018 2018-04-01T00:00:00+0100
Date published: 13 November 2018 2018-11-13T19:40:55+0000


  • David AllensworthClient

Soul To Keep_SHADY TREE FILMS_DIR: David Allensworth & Moniere


Irv is a masterful magician of sound and music. He ensures that not only is the story told through the score, it is enhanced to a much higher level. His resources are deep, and his mind borders on the genius of comparable composers like Hans Zimmer. I will bring Irv on board any project I have in the future.

* David Allensworth
Director/Writer/Producer, p.g.a. at IEYS LLC
07 Nov 2018

"Soul To Keep" is the second feature film which Irv has composed for my company. During the process of "Dissonance", the first feature, he lived within close proximity, whereas during STK he lived overseas. I had informed my executive producers that Irv is a genius at work, no matter where he lives, I know he'd deliver a phenominal score. The whole team was ecstatic once Irv delivered the final mix. We were all so close to the film, so only a general audience can be the judge of wether is an instant memorable score or... We recently played STK at a reputable film festival where his score received 5/5 stars from the audience. Critiques in numerous reviews praised the score and sound design of Soul to Keep. Irv is not only gifted with his talent and skills but has a charismatic and easy going personality which any executive or director would appreciate. I truly look forward to working on the next one with Irv.

* Moniere
Co-Director at Cineque Pictures
13 Nov 2018