Millikin University Percussion Ensemble Director Brian Justison contacted me regarding the ensemble’s annual Halloween bash. He wanted a work that would be spooky, creepy, and would include handbell choir. While chatting about the commission, we discussed the presence of the Rail Girl, an actual spirit of a young girl that haunts the Albert Taylor Theater in Decatur, Illinois. The tale goes that the child died at the theater and continues to wreak havoc on productions, unless the production staff offers her candy. Following this tradition, every production offers the ghost candy to avoid any unforeseen bad luck.
When writing virelaan, I wanted to create a creepy, downright bone-chilling work. I have always preferred subtle suspenseful horror to outright gore, and opted for a combination of disturbing stop motion animation images like creepy dolls and an old music box and traveling through a graveyard. I created the entire film at my home, using a combination of video, stop motion animation, and computer animation with Bryce, an older animation program famed for its use in the video game Myst.
Virelaan continues to be a part of the grand Halloween tradition at Millikin University.
If you are interested in programming virelaan for your ensemble, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or purchase the score above.
From the Decaturian
From Decatur Review