Soundtrack: Devin Sarno

Devin Sarno is the man behind Crib, creator of soundscapes using only a Fender Precision Bass, amplification and various effects. This month I was catching up with his recent activities with particular focus on filmography. 

A Crib musical experience usually starts off very quietly before building into a crescendo of multi-layered, often feedback-driven music characterized by unknowable overtones and harmonics. It might be meditative. It might be inscrutable. It might be terrifying. With Crib one never knows in advance! 

Sarno’s music is, to my ears, a natural for creating counterpoint to moving images. The idea of scoring a film by licensing pre-existing pop songs has been a stale approach for a long time now. Why not work with a talent like Sarno for an exclusive to craft something really special? 

Or go one better and listen to existing work of musical artists and maestros of sound whose work contains plots in search of visual narratives. With Sarno/Crib, the many microreleases on Perceived Sound would be an excellent place to start. 

As one can see in these shorts, his music is bursting with potential for the moving image: 

Britt Randle Short Films
The Day I Decided To Leave 

He also has a credit in a major European release, The Double Hour, where his compositions are blended with others from Godspeed You Black Emperor and A Silver Mt. Zion to create a subtly emotional counterweight to the hall-of-mirrors plot line. The music lives just under the skin of the action, effectively toggling between tender sentiment and fear with little difficulty. 

And all the above is aside from his resume as executive video producer for Warner. Surely someone with this experience might know something about the basic dynamics of sound + visual? But you shouldn’t look at it. No really, don’t look. Will blind your eyes.