Digital Entropy #1 – Synthesizers as SoundTrack

Show #1 Synthesizers as SoundTrack

Filmmakers and synthesizers have had a great relationship for years, in their science fiction and horror films. The movie, Forbidden Planet, 1956 by director Mc Leod Wilcow. it was the first with a totally electronic soundtrack, composed and recorded by the couple Louis and Bebe Barron. They had been experimenting with standard sound sources, magnetic tape manipulation and cybernetic systems for almost a decade. It was composed entirely by home circuits and tape recorders.

 

The theremin has been used in numerous soundtracks of science fiction films of the 50s and 60s. One of them was, The Day the Earth Stood Still, 1951, by the director Robert Wise and composer Bernard Herrman. Hermann is known for his collaborations with Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock. Ondes Martenot is the synthesizer that Herrman used inside the studio with his recording technique that later

many composers used. He recorded it with the room microphones at the same time as the other instruments of the orchestra, so that everything was in the same environment.

The War of The worids, 1953, by Orson Welles, and was the first electronic soundtrack, also made in Hollywood, one of its most traditionalists created by Jeff Wayne.

Another of the films to be highlighted created in the United Kingdom during the 60s, is Doctor Who.

The BBC Radiophonic Workshop (created in 1958) emerged as one of the most productive and renowned studios in the world, thanks to its work in the science fiction series Doctor Who. One of the most influential British electronic artists of this period was Delia Derbyshire. She is famous for her iconic execution in 1963 of the central theme of Doctor Who, composed by Ron Grainer. Among the tools of work of Delia Derbyshire, highlighted magnetic tapes, white sound generators, valve oscillators, filters or tape recorders.

Blade Runner by Vangelis it could be the pinnacle of the synthesizer’s soundtracks. It seamlessly combines orchestral elements with vintage synthesizer sounds (and the occasional saxophone solo) to create an environment that moves between old-fashioned noir suspense and gloomy and dystopian futurism, perfectly reflecting the retro-futuristic feel of classic science fiction by Ridley Scott. The core of the soundtrack was composed mainly with a Yamaha CS-80 and Roland VP-330, interspersed with elements reproduced in a Fender Rhodes to add an element of classic romanticism to the sound.

Wendy Carloswas the American electronic music composer of Tron‘s original film. Carlos was one of the first famous electronic music players to use synthesizers. in 1982, she composed the score for the film Tron of the company Disney, where she incorporated orchestra, choirs, organ music and synthesizers, both analogue as a modular Moog as digital GDS: Crumar General Development System, a synthesizer that uses phase modulation techniques and additive processes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1968, the movie 2001: Space Odyssey was released, directed by Stanley Kubrick, where he makes a nod to the vocoder with the song Daisy Bell that would sing HAL 9000, when Dave Bowman deactivates and kills the computer.

 

 

 

 

 

The shining, 1980, Stanley Kubrick -The music that opens the film is based on the theme Dies irae, a Latin funeral anthem of the Middle Ages remixed with synthesizers and voices by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind, who had already taken part in the soundtrack from A Clockwork Orange where he focuses on the strange electronic performances of well-known classical pieces, and also presents one of the first recordings of a vocoder.

The soundtrack of Apocalypse Now is based on synthesizers and created by Coppola himself and his father composer Carmine Coppola. It is a threatening soundtrack, with atmospheric noises and chords generated by a Moog synthesizer.

And finally to name the noisy, dark and experimental soundtrack of Eraserhead, 1976, by David Lynch with Alan R. Splet, full of drones.

Jon Hopkins, the Scottish electronic musician who has worked with Brian Eno and through his brilliant soundtrack of the science fiction film Monsters, 2010 fills us with subtle synthesized drones and loop delay effects.

And to the composer Mica Levi who has done a good job in Under the Skin, the third film by Jonathan Glazer. The sound of the synthesizers, help us to immerse ourselves in the visual spectacle that the director proposes.

 

 

The Ka band

A piece that refers to the attempts of Johannes Kepler to decipher the code of interplanetary communication through mathematics and musical waves. We explore Kepler’s thoughts on his 1619 theories from his book Harmonice Mundi, to the modern day discoveries of the Kepler ship that are transmitted from sidereal space to Earth through the Ka band.
The piece is composed of five movements with different musical themes inspired and extracted from his work Harmonice Mundi written in 1619.
1 tetrahedron-fire
2 octahedron-air
3 cube-the earth
4 icosahedron-water
5 dodecahedron-cosmos or ether

The monologue dares to make us think about the relationship between mathematics and music, and how they are built to effect a mental and physical understanding in us, and to question whether the space we occupy (the Earth) is also trying to communicate with the other celestial bodies that are in the same galaxy. Astronomy and the exploration of the sky have been constant since the appearance of human beings on our planet. Thanks to great thinkers like Kepler, we have the scientific basis to advance in the creation of new technologies to be able to learn to listen to the Universe. Perhaps, we will find another kind of bands (frequencies) that until now we have not been able to receive. What would Kepler do today with the technology we have in our hands? Would the search for this information still be out there in the galaxy or would it seek here within our planet the solutions to the mystery of the invisible but very powerful vibrations …?

Created on May 12, 2011.

Voice: Shakira Benavides

Composition: Shakira Benavides and Rosalind Harvey.