Shock Head Soul

Composed By: Roger Goula

Distributed by: MovieScore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                The docudrama Shock Head Soul centers on the writings of Daniel Paul Schreber, a successful lawyer until 1893 when he began to exhibit signs of growing psychosis.  Over the next nine years, Schreber spent time in an asylum, during which he wrote Memoirs of My Nervous Illness.  The film uses documentary interviews, fictional re-construction and CGI animation to relate Schreberís story.

                The musical score of Shock Head Soul was created by composer Roger Goula, an artist with a background in classical and jazz guitar.  His compositional skills earned him notice by a number of foundations who offered Goula scholarships to aide in his effort to earn a Masters in Film Composition.  Beginning with short films and fringe theater works, Roger Goula has ventured into creating musical scores for full feature films, including the documentaries Best of Men and Britain in a Day.

                The music of Shock Head Soul is piano and string driven.  The piano compositions add some sad beauty to the score while the strings describe dramatic moments affecting the psyche of Schreber.  Thus, there is a slight duality in each track, sort of depression meets total insanity.  Two of the most disturbing tracks on the Shock Head Soul Soundtrack are Youíre Dead to Me and The Delusion Youíre Dead to Me features dialogue from the film by Schreber and his wife.  As he slips deeper into his psychosis, he begins to pound upon the keys of the piano.  Strings come in later to add a more dramatic flare.  The Delusion features screeching strings accompanied by a dramatically sad piano piece.

                I had no idea what Shock Head Soul was about before listening to the soundtrack.  From the music, I was able to realize that the film centered on someone who suffered from mental illness.  The fact that Roger Goula was able to get this idea across to me just through musical composition is a sign of an extremely good composer.  He has found the perfect way to express the emotional inner workings of Daniel Paul Shreber and how the psychosis he suffered from destroyed his professional life.  An excellent job by a relatively new composer.


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