Hearing Fear: A Composer’s Talk on Horror in Music

  • Galen Alaks

Presentation author(s)

Galen Alaks ’21, Brookfield, Illinois

Major: Music
Minor: Art History


To many, music is a way of altering emotions. After a breakup, one may listen to a sad pop song to let their emotions flow freely. Calming music can help one focus on overwhelming homework assignments. Perhaps some energetic metal will accompany one’s workout. Numerous emotions can be brought forth through music, but how often do we listen to music to experience fear?

Horror is not a genre of music in the same way as country or rock. Looking for horror music online will lead one either to horror movie soundtracks or to royalty-free music waiting to be used for horror movie soundtracks. Horror music is tied to horror visuals.

What if we changed that? Electronic composer Galen Alaks will present a composer’s talk on a selection of his works and how they convey horror without a visual medium. He will discuss compositional tricks he uses to create horror in sound and the motivations behind his music.


Yiheng Wu

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