Wednesday, October 14, 2009

visual music

music sets the mood, especially in movies. without a good soundtrack and/or score the movie might not have the right tone despite it being brilliantly directed, written and designed. a couple years back a friend burned me a cd of horror movie soundtracks. you'd think i might already have such a library of music, but i don't. this is the cd that gets the most play at work. i try to keep it low so my co-workers won't think i've gone off my rocker as i obsess with a few pieces of horror movie music.

there are few composers associated with a feeling of dread as bernard herrmann. brilliant dread. the music-maker is so respected that he's even made it into the texts of poets like august kleinzahler. i was reminded of this respect when i read a few days ago 'limp node' by vincent katz in the latest edition of eoagh [to find katz' poem click here].

nothing bleeds like halloween than good ear wax. herrmann's scores delight the senses in creating a lush, palpable unease that is redolent of noir fiction and monster movies. these pieces also work well on their own as stand alone pieces. there are film composers who create music for the screen and there are film composers whose work is so cinematic the music is a host of imagery. few sets the mood better for halloween than certain pieces of music. one of those pieces is herrmann's 'psycho theme'. the sharp stabs and scratches of the strings creates brilliantly that awful shower scene and when the stabbing strings subside as the notes fall into a low dirge that encapsulates the melancholy and madness of bates dissevered personality.



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