John Carpenter on the enduring sound of Halloween # #: NPR

adminOctober 19, 2018




John Carpenter (center) directed and wrote the score for the horror classic. Hallowe'en, And he wrote the score for his sequel of 2018.

Trevor de Brauw / Courtesy of the artist


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Trevor de Brauw / Courtesy of the artist

John Carpenter (center) directed and wrote the score for the horror classic. Hallowe'en, And he wrote the score for his sequel of 2018.

Trevor de Brauw / Courtesy of the artist

Michael Myers is back. The boogeyman of the Hallowe'en The films have returned to terrorize Laurie Strode, played again by Jamie Lee Curtis, exactly 40 years after the original film was released.

John Carpenter directed that highly influential and low-budget horror film, and he also composed his minimalist and spooky score. The new Hallowe'en was directed by David Gordon Green, but only one composer knows how to mark Michael Myers, so Hallowe'en the fans were very happy when producer Jason Blum asked Carpenter to record the return home of Michael Myers in 2018.

While the original Hallowe'en The score is one of the most recognizable and enduring horror scores ever written, and it was also one of the cheapest. Carpenter's 1978 film, about a masked butcher caring for babysitters on Halloween night, had a budget of around $ 300,000, with no money for an orchestra or a great movie composer. So Carpenter, who learned music as a child and had played in bands since college, booked a synthesizer studio in Los Angeles and released some simple melodies.

"I only had three days to make the music. Hallowe'en"Says Carpenter." I recorded five or six songs. And this was not scoring for the image. This was just going blind, and then I cut the tracks in the movie. I had to guess several moods. What surprised me is that they fit quite well in the movie. It's a cheap but effective way to score. "

By writing these minimalist pieces for analog synthesizers, Carpenter created a sense of propulsive and oneiric fear. The music transformed Hallowe'en from a low budget slasher movie to one of the most important horror movies in the United States. "It's up there with Psychopath, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Y Alien"says movie critic Matt Zoller Seitz." Michael [Myers] He does not run, he walks, which makes him much more afraid. And then listen to the score: there is not much fuss in the score. It's as minimalistic and effective as the butcher knife that Michael carries. "

Carpenter no longer directs, but has been writing hypnotic and sticky albums and playing live concerts. He says he appreciates Hallowe'enThe enduring success.

"I love what Hallowe'en He has done it for me, and I love the movie, "says Carpenter. And every time a sequel is made, they pay me. "



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