Archive for April, 2014

Polycarp: Destroyer of Gods

Posted on April 25, 2014 at 1:09 pm, by Ben

I’m very pleased to announce that I’ll be coming on board the independent feature film Polycarp: Destroyer of Gods as the composer! I’m just beginning the early writing stages for this film and it’s looking to be a great experience. The emotions of the story and it’s characters are deep and rich and the geographic setting is evocative, which make scoring a treat. Here’s a short synopsis of the film:

A young slave girl, Anna, is rescued and adopted by Christians in the 2nd century Smyrna and befriended by their aged bishop, Polycarp. As Anna is taught by Polycarp and her new family, she struggles to reconcile her beliefs with those of the Christians. When the Roman proconsul demands that all citizens worship Caesar to show their allegiance to Rome, Polycarp and the Christians must find courage to stand for their faith against the growing threat of persecution. Anna is forced to come to grips with the truth and choose whom she is willing to live – and die – for.

Of significant note, the film currently is running a kickstarter campaign (only 9 hours left!) to help fund remaining stages of production. Be sure to support the film and check out the unique rewards and incentives for backers that will not last much longer.

Building the Machine – The Music

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 9:24 pm, by Ben

I recently had the pleasure of writing the music for HSLDA’s new documentary on the Common Core Standards, “Building the Machine.”

“Building the Machine” introduces the public to the Common Core States Standards Initiative (CCSSI) and its effects on our children’s education. The documentary compiles interviews from leading educational experts, including members of the Common Core Validation Committee. Parents, officials, and the American public should be involved in this national decision regardless of their political persuasion.

I had a great time working and collaborating with director Ian Reid on the project, from developing the sonic texture of the score, to the spotting session, and all throughout the scoring process. As we discussed the needs of the film, we decided that the music needed to be a subdued mixture of hybrid/minimal/ambient textures and tones for the most part, which provided an exciting challenge and opportunity to explore sounds and music that were a bit of a departure from the richer, more orchestral and melodic music I tend to write. I used more synth and hybrid elements, muted strings, felt piano, primarily utilizing the softer dynamics of all these instruments. There were also sections that needed to sound more mechanical and unrelenting–like a machine–which required a lot of experimentation with percussive and metallic sounds to arrive on the final sound. Below is a short medley of some of the music from the film.

Visit to discover more about the project!

Film Scoring  |  Music by Ben Botkin  |  News  |  Comments Off on Building the Machine – The Music