The only things more feverishly worshipped than John Carpenter's horror movies and cult classics are the soundtracks that go along with them. Carpenter, who scores the majority of his flicks and has penned some of the most recognizable tunes ever to waft through a crowded theater, is big on partnering screaming heroines with stark, minimalist musical scrims, building tension to the point where you can cut his scenes with a knife. (Or stab them, more appropriately.) The iconic piano plinks of the Halloween theme, the dark synths and strident strings from Assault on Precinct 13, the metal edge of Ghosts of Mars — Carpenter spent as much time perfecting the background noise for his creepy, oozy, spattered moments as he did his plot points, and now he's stepped away from the director's chair and into the studio.
Courtesy of BAM
Carpenter's first solo album, Lost Themes, drops February 3, and the record capitalizes on all of the sonic hallmarks we've come to expect from the champion of terror. The Brooklyn Academy of Music will be celebrating the work of Carpenter all month, showing several titles spanning the length of his career, for its John Carpenter: Master of Fear series, starting with Halloween February 6. (Carpenter was scheduled to sit down with NPR's Brooke Gladstone at BAM to chat about all things Lost Themes, Michael Myers, and more, but the event has been canceled.)
We've compiled a list of our favorite Carpenter music moments, so just avoid saying "I'll be right back!" when you run off to grab your headphones.More »