LOCKE & KEY composer Torin Borrowdale fulfils his childhood fantasy through new series ‘Production Value.’

Rhea Srivastava -

LOCKE & KEY composer Torin Borrowdale fulfils his childhood fantasy through new series ‘Production Value.’

The renowned series Locke and Key on Netflix has a unique score, thanks to composer Torin Borrowdale. He’s left a lot of secret clever little easter eggs in the chords, which viewers may be able to pick up on if they watch closely or daresay, do a rewatch. And within reason. The show has such a premise. 

Locke and Key is based on the best-selling comic book series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, and the series adaptation centres on the three Locke children. After the mysterious death of their father, they and their mother move to ‘Keyhouse’ - their ancestral home - where they discover a set of magical keys which may lead them to the murderer. 

For Borrowdale, the chance to compose a score for film and television has been nothing less of a ‘childhood fantasy.’ He’s also had to work with a gamut of emotions due to the nature of the show, giving him the chance to express an entire spectrum through his creativity. In the show ‘Production Value by Deadline Hollywood,’ which was shot pre-lockdown, Borrowdale spoke about his process. “Having that range in a show is really a treat because, with something like this, you can kind of do it all.” Much like the show’s theme, Borrowdale has used the idea of secret codes within visuals for his music. “[When] the Locke family are walking around this house, they don’t even realize how close to these keys they are. That’s kind of how I wanted to be with the score, which as a composer, is really fun to do, to hide all these little, clever things,” he said. He also equated his work to that of an architect, where the score is needed to give support to the characters of the show. “There’s so many characters and genres and scenarios that happen, that I wanted the music to clarify different character arcs, and keep the structure of the show together,” he continued. 

Locke and Key is not just a fantasy trip, but also has elements of horror and drama, which is another challenge when composing the score. “I didn’t want to get too carried away with trying to do everything at once,” Borrowdale says. “What I was going for was the feeling of exploring a magical house like this for the first time.” The composer claims that he had a very specific vision for what the overall sound would be like. The technique, of course, involves sketching ideas based on specific instruments and then choosing the best one. Borrowdale is most proficient with a piano. He says that if it works on a piano, it’ll work on an orchestra. 

Locke and Key features Darby Stanchfield, Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones, Jackson Robert Scott, Laysla De Oliveira, Petrice Jones, and Griffin Gluck, and premiered in February. 


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