I’m rushing off to Seattle for a wedding today, so I’m posting early this week.
It’s one of my favorite times of year again! My wife and I watch a ridiculous amount of horror movies whenever Halloween rolls around, and since we have Netflix instant queue to supply them, most of them are terrible. But not all! They have a lot of the classics on there, which is what inspired me to write this week’s piece.
My favorite horror director by far is John Carpenter. He’s responsible for movies like the original Halloween, The Fog, and The Thing, which is in my opinion one of the scariest movies of all time (seriously; don’t go see the awful remake; watch the original instead!). He even crafted one of my fight scenes ever, where the male leads in They Live beat the living hell out of each other for what feels like 20 minutes over a pair of sunglasses. Here, look! (NSFW unless your boss likes some harsh language and a good asskicking)
But the main reason that I love John Carpenter’s movies is that he doesn’t just direct, he writes the music too. And it’s actually good! His signature is keeping it simple; something I’m striving to get better and faster at doing all the time. So in that spirit, I wrote a little horror riff modeled after the style of the theme from Halloween, which ranks just under the theme from Jaws as far as economy of notes goes (there are basically three notes in the whole thing if you don’t count transpositions). You can hear the original here.
Mine is very similar. A lone piano, played mainly in the very high and low registers, a few eighties synths, a bass drum, and that’s it. Check it out, and let me know what you think, as always! And remember: stay together, don’t run upstairs, and keep your top on, you tramp. We’ll get through this.