A singer/songwriter who settled into a career as a film and TV composer during the 1990s, Mark Korven is most closely associated with his ominous, part-electronic orchestral scores for the horror, sci-fi, and thriller genres. Though he made his film debut with the 1987 comedy <I>I've Heard the Mermaids Singing, movies like 1997's Cube and the 2000 thriller Falling Through, along with numerous documentaries, brought more projects with tense subject matter his way. He worked on the TV crime series <I>The Border from 2008 to 2010, and the independent horror film The Witch was a low-key hit in 2016. Thereafter, Korven's film music increasingly received soundtrack releases, as was the case for 2018's Our House and 2019's The Lighthouse.
Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Korven showed an early affection for raucous rock music and began playing guitar before his teens. By the age of 17, he had found work in local bars playing with a number of bands. His tastes quickly expanded, and he began experimenting with other styles, including jazz fusion and progressive rock. In 1977, he enrolled at Edmonton's Grant MacEwan College to study music, which included classes in jazz arranging and composition. When he graduated in the early '80s, he went back to working with cover bands as a stand-in guitarist. Around that time, he began writing tunes of his own.
In 1984, working with Rave Records, Korven completed and released his debut album, Passengers. He moved to the Duke Street label for 1987's Ordinary Man. That same year, he wrote his first film score, for the whimsical Canadian comedy-drama <I>I've Heard the Mermaid's Singing. He made one more solo album in 1992, This Must Be the Place, but shifted his focus to scoring as he got more and more film assignments, including Sam & Me (1991), The Michaell Apts. (1994), and the sci-fi movie Cube (1997). He also did some work in television during this time, most notably for <I>The Twilight Zone series reboot.
The 2000s brought the thriller Falling Through and the drama Saint Jude, both from 2000. Among his work for TV were the movies <I>Hollywood Wives: The New Generation (2003) and <I>Terrorised by Teens: The Jonathan Wamback Story (2005). He also scored various documentaries and the television show <I>The Border (2008-2010). He continued to work primarily on shorts and in television until composing music for Robert Eggers' feature The Witch, released in 2016. His atmospheric, dissonant score was released by Milan and led to higher-profile projects. Awakening the Zodiac followed in 2017, and in 2018, his score for that year's Our House was issued on Lakeshore. The Sacred Bones label released Korven's music for 2019's The Lighthouse, a horror-fantasy film starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. ~ Charlotte Dillon & Marcy Donelson, Rovi