soundtracks

First Listen: John Carpenter, 'Lost Themes'

Jan 26, 2015

John Carpenter is famous for directing movie thrillers such as Halloween, Escape From New York and Big Trouble In Little China. But to a swath of underground musicians, he's just as venerable for those films' soundtracks, which he composed and performed himself.

This week on All Things Considered, NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with some of film's most thoughtful and high-profile composers — plus an up-and-comer — about what it means to tell a story with music, and how a score can enhance a scene.

We've collected five conversations that you can listen to below. You'll hear about the magic of the Wizard of Oz score, how 5/4 time inspired Halloween's terrifying theme, and why a Canadian says he's become to the go-to composer for films requiring South Asian-inspired soundtracks.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

All this week, we're hearing about the music behind the movies.

(SOUNDBITE OF VARIOUS MOVIE THEME SONGS)

SIEGEL: We've been hearing from composers across the genres. And today, we add screams.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HALLOWEEN")

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

All week this week, we've been exploring the process of composing for film. It's a series we're calling Scoring the Screen.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE OF FILM SCORES)

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Seeing a movie isn't just about seeing. It's equally about hearing words and music.

(SOUNDBITE OF VARIOUS FILM SCORES)

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