Digital Entropy #1

Synthesizers as Soundtracks

Filmmakers and synthesizers have had a great relationship for years, in their science fiction and horror films. The movie, Forbidden planet1956 by the director Mc Leod Wilcow. was the first with an all-electronic soundtrack, composed and recorded by the married 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 using homemade circuits and tape recorders. The theremin has been used in numerous science fiction film soundtracks of the 1950s and 1960s. One of them was, The Day the Earth Stood Still1951, by the director Robert Wise and composer Bernard Herrman. Hermann is known for his collaborations with Orson Welles and with Alfred HitchcockOndes Martenot is the synthesizer used by Herrman inside the studio with his recording technique, which was later used by many composers.

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 worids1953, by Orson Wellesand was the first integrated electronic soundtrack, also manufactured in Hollywood, in one of its most traditionalist created by Jeff Wayne. Another of the films created in the United Kingdom during the 60's, 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 on 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 1963 performance of the theme song of Doctor Whoconsisting of Ron Grainer.

Among the working tools of Delia DerbyshireThe most important were magnetic tapes, white sound generators, valve oscillators, filters or tape recorders. Blade Runner from Vangelis could be the pinnacle of synthesizer soundtracks. It seamlessly blends orchestral elements with vintage synth sounds (and the occasional solo saxophone) to create a mood that moves between old-fashioned noir suspense and bleak, dystopian futurism, perfectly reflecting the retro-futuristic feel of the sci-fi classic by Ridley Scott The core of the soundtrack was composed primarily with a Yamaha CS-80 and Roland VP-330interspersed with elements reproduced in a Fender Rhodes to add an element of classic romanticism to the sound.

Wendy Carloswas the American electronic music composer for the original film of Tron. Carlos was one of the first famous performers of electronic music using synthesizers. In 1982, he composed the score for the film Tron of the company Disneywhere he incorporated orchestra, choirs, organ music, and synthesizers, both analog and Moog modular as digital GDS: Crumar General Development Systema synthesizer that employs phase modulation techniques and additive processes.  

In 1968, the film 2001: Odysseyof spacedirected by Stanley Kubrickwhere he makes a nod to the vocoder with the Daisy Bell song that would sing HAL 9000when Dave Bowman disables and kills the computer. The shining,1980, Stanley Kubrick -The film's opening music is based on the theme Dies irae, a Latin funeral hymn from the Middle Ages remixed with synthesizers and vocals by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkindwho had already been involved in the soundtrack of A Clockwork Orange where he focuses on bizarre electronic interpretations 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 the same Coppola and his composer father Carmine Coppola. It is a menacing soundtrack, with atmospheric noises and synthesizer-generated chords. Moog.

And last but not least, the noisy, dark and experimental soundtrack of Eraserhead1976, by David Lynch together with Alan R. Spletfull of drones. A Jon Hopkinsthe Scottish electronic musician who has worked with Brian Eno and that through its brilliant soundtrack for the science fiction movie Monsters2010 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 Skinthe third film of Jonathan Glazer. The sound of the synthesizers help us to immerse ourselves in the visual spectacle proposed by the director.