it’s the hunger that makes us hunters [Panic/Practice]

“The wolves are gaining on us
Hear their chorus in the forest
So let the night become us
It’s the hunger that makes us hunters”

Considering that a large portion of the music I write is deeply personal, it’s refreshing to write something that is externally focused. Art tends to inspire more art, which is the case here: this song is based not on events from life, but events from one of my favorite TV shows to ever grace the Friday night death slot: NBC’s Hannibal.

hannibal-show-header

It’s probably fair to assume that the first association most people make with the name “Hannibal Lecter” is the 1991 film Silence of the Lambs, based on Thomas Harris’ the book by the same name. This is one of my favorite films, and I was extremely skeptical when I learned Martha De Laurentiis was producing a TV series in the same franchise. I was most pleasantly surprised. The show is a masterpiece in many respects: cinematography (David Slade), soundtrack (good lord it’s creepy, thank you Brian Reitzell), costuming, script-writing, casting, acting—the sheer artistry in every scene and attention to detail is astounding and ridiculous. Honestly, I cannot give the show enough praise; I admired it so much that I was moved to write music for it.

What began as a piece for solo piano morphed into something that sounds, at first, more like the bread and butter of troubled and emotional youths—that is, a stalker ballad (which, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is exactly what it sounds like. One notable example is “Every Breath You Take” by the Police; you might also consider “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails to be a stalker ballad.) The line I choose to open with seems to suggest little else: “I’ve been watching you all night (all night)”. Creepiness is apropos and abounds.

However, if you’ve watched Hannibal (in all of its gruesome glory), you are aware that the show isn’t just about an obsessive, psychopathic killer in a three-piece suit. It’s about a relationship between doctor and patient, mentor and mentee. But, perhaps the most poignant relationship (or, at least the second most popular relationship to speculate about) is that between predator and prey.

But none of these relationships are static, and particular care is given the predator-prey relationship. The central conflict of Hannibal is the question “What does it take to transform someone into a killer?” Stated even more simply, Hannibal is about change— the effects that events and people have on us, and the way they alter our responses, our relationships, our perspectives. It is, now that I think about it, a horrific but wonderful study in behavioral psychology.

Interestingly, “Panic/Practice” is not the only song I’ve written about Hannibal. There is a piece for solo piano, and another ballad of sorts. Perhaps, I’ll get around to recording them one day.


Panic/Practice

I’ve been watching you all night (all night)
Taking in your form the fearsome sight
And you wander—dear lamb, you wander
Leaving your footprints for me to find 

In the darkness of the forest
Pray it will keep you safe
For the moment, don’t be still yet
Your quarry’s keeping pace 

The wolves are gaining on us
Hear their chorus in the forest
So let the night become us
It’s the hunger that makes us hunters 

Hallowed hunter, have no fear
You’ve wronged;
Even frightened lambs are food for God
And you doubt me—
Hunter, you flout me!
Hiding your face from
Savagery’s law— 

In the darkness of the forest
Pray it will keep you here
In the moment, be still, pet
And all will become clear 

The wolves are gaining on us
Hear their chorus in the forest
So let the night become us
It’s the hunger that makes us hunters
And I need you
And I want you
To lead our lambs to slaughter
Once husband, now father,
Won’t you take this knife to our daughter?  

I’ve been watching you all night (all night)
Taking in your form the fearsome sight
And we wander—hunter, we wander
Keeping your dark heart folded in mine 

Don’t panic, it takes practice

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s