Throughout the weeks to come I’m going to be offering a mix of my own thoughts and experiences in the world of music for the media, and at other times, I’ll be treating you to some odds ‘n’ sods ‘n’ bits of internet flotsam that come across my desk. This week’s entry felt like a good place to start because it’s about a genre of music that’s near and dear to my heart, because Fall is just around the corner and it’s never too early to post some Hallowe’en-ey thoughts, and especially because it’s a wonderful example of the vital role that music plays in supporting visual images.
Great and indelible motion picture images are often paired with unforgettable music – think about some of the iconic scenes from classic thrillers, and imagine them without their underscore. Imagine Janet Leigh being stabbed by Norman Bates without Bernard Herrmann’s slashing strings…imagine how less palpable the sense of dread of an anticipated shark attack would be without John Williams’ infamous “duh DUH duh DUH duh DUH duh DUH” ostinato…imagine trying to relate to Damien Karras’ crisis of faith before going mano y mano against the Prince of Darkness in The Exorcist without Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells to support it.
The article from The Guardian that I’m sharing today is a great little primer on some essential horror film scores – I really like how it focuses on some of the innovative work that lesser-known artists like Goblin brought to the table in the ’70s, plus a bit of a clarion call for how innovative compositional and sound design tools ought to be employed to bring new sounds to this most venerable of film traditions as we move further into the 21st century.
Check it out and let me know what you think. What’s your favourite horror film score?
From Goblin to Morricone: the art of horror movie music | Film | The Guardian.