What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

The Apprehension Engine



Mark Korven

I have a big, busy, stressful week coming up, so today’s post is exactly in line with my mood. Movie composer Mark Korven was scoring horror movies but found himself regularly thwarted when he tried to find sufficiently-spooky-sounding instruments that would do what he had in mind. So he invented one. He and his luthier friend Tony Duggan-Smith put their heads together and created the spookiest-sounding combination instrument of all time. Enter the Apprehension Engine, an instrument that calls an electro-acoustic hell machine.

Listening to this instrument makes me want to do two things immediately: 1. make a scary movie so I can play with it, and 2. invent the comedy sound effect engine.

Below is a two-part video of Korven talking about his score for the 2016 movie “The Witch.”

You can learn more about Korven’s work on his website.


Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

11 thoughts on “The Apprehension Engine

  1. I’ve got to get me one of these. What a great tool for self defense. No one would bother you if you walked around playing an Apprehension Engine. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: The Apprehension Engine — My OBT | Fantasy Sources: Art, Gifts, Ideas, Article Resources, News

  3. I love that he invented an instrument because the right one didn’t exist. That’s creative problem solving. The score for ‘The Witch’ was one of the strongest elements of the movie, I thought, so his idea was worth pursuing. I like that it’s musical but unsettling at the same time. He should create scores for silent horror movies like ‘Nosferatu’ and ‘The Cabinet of Dr Caligari’.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for posting our instrument and wait till you see version two! This wasn’t the first instrument that I built for Mark and it is rare to have someone who isn’t interested in playing it safe when requesting something to be hand built. People have been experimenting with instruments for centuries so we are part of a noble tradition and we hope to get the chance to push the envelope together with those who are keen to get their own Apprehension Engines. We are making version two somewhat modular and encouraging those who get them to experiment and explore their own ideas and integrate them into the unit. I think that is key to the whole notion of this instrument. No limits. Tony Duggan-Smith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tony, what a thrill to hear from you! The AE is absolutely remarkable. I vividly remember noticing the score when I watched “The Witch,” and learning that it was mostly made with your beautiful instrument was fascinating! Can’t wait to see version 2. The modular idea sounds amazing. I definitely think my movie-maker friends would be very interested. Great to hear from you. Keep up the good work!


  5. Reblogged this on ARHtistic License and commented:
    Thanks to Donna at MyOBT for this guest post. I usually avoid horror movies, but I am so intrigued by this instrument, I may just go see The Witch. Or maybe I’ll just watch these videos again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The music is amazing – the voices are super perfect. I also am intrigued by the movie and found that I can watch it on Amazon Prime.

    Liked by 1 person

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