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10th March 2024
The Guardian Talks Apprehension Engine with Petri Alanko in New Alan Wake 2 Interview (Updated)

On Friday, The Guardian published a new interview with Alan Wake 2 composer Petri Alanko. In the piece, Dom Peppiatt talks to him about his "no deadlines missed" promise, creating a "hostile ambience" for Wake's latest adventure and finding music using a tool that even creeped out Stephen King. 

Horror games tend to like storing the scares in the basement, and this was especially true for the soundtrack. For the game, Petri was let loose on some discoveries in the Remedy basement: Mega Marvin and The Apprehension Engine. 

You may have heard the Apprehension Engine being mentioned in previous interviews, but the latest one delves into what exactly this monstrosity is.

(18/03/2024 Updated) In 2016, Mark Korven, collaborated with fellow musician Tony Duggan-Smith to create an instrument capable of creating a horror soundtrack. The resulting piece, formed in just eleven days by Duggan-Smith, combined a number of instruments, along with a number of sound-effects generators. Essentially, creating what is officially referred to as the "Apprehension Engine" but is also likely to be referred to as "the box that specifically creates a sound full of nope". The piece made its public debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. Interestingly, Alan Wake 2 isn't the only work to use a later version of the instrument, with the Apprehension Engine also being present in the soundtracks for The Witch and The Lighthouse

Talking about learning the instrument, Alanko reveals, “I can tell you it’s one effed-up thing to master, or even to play. Imagine the most horrific things in any instrument, all put into one, and its sole purpose is to make noises. Sometimes the noises have some tonal content, sometimes they don’t, and usually it seems it has its own mind to do whatever it wants to. People say you’re an OK player if you’ve put 10,000 hours into practising an instrument. With Apprehension Engine, you’re not even close. You begin with a total void and stay in it for a long time. It has a spring reverb tank, metallic rods that resonate or tick-tock-tick-tock, two string instrument necks, several strings, a nyckelharpa crank, an e-bow, active mics, a heavily distorting preamp … all in one.”

You can read the full interview with Petri Alanko at The Guardian HERE


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