Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2018 - 5:52 PM   
 By:   Tango Urilla   (Member)

We'll see where this one goes. I'm not looking for scores that necessarily come from films based upon the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Just scores that feel like they fit the horrifying, universe-sundering world he wrote about.

Scores that are eerie, foreboding, apocalyptically dark, perhaps alien or mystical, perhaps conveying a sense of the old world or of ancient times or of another world entirely.

I think Carpenter's The Thing would fit the bill for its epic sense of doom (though the film itself is heavily inspired by Lovecraft anyway), but also things like Baxter's House of Usher, Sukman's Salem's Lot, Shore's The Fly, and Jones' Dark City. I'm trying to also think of examples that aren't necessarily of the horror or sci-fi genres.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2018 - 6:05 PM   
 By:   Bill Cooke   (Member)


Not a film score, but the concert work "Angels and Visitations" by Einojuhani Rautavaara, to me, could work as background score for Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness."

Lots of horror scores could fit the bill, I imagine, but two I'll call out: Tristram Cary's chilling but challenging music for BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB and QUATERMASS AND THE PIT both evoke a Lovecraftian sense of dread in me.

Joseph LoDuca's EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN may be too on-the-nosey for you, but it's a real barnstormer.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2018 - 6:10 PM   
 By:   Bill Cooke   (Member)



Also - Sadao Bekku's score for the Japanese horror movie MATANGO evokes a lot of the feeling I think you're after. There's a great sense of dread and doom throughout. The movie is excellent, too, like a facsimile of several stories by Nautical horror scribe and inspirer of Lovecraft, William Hope Hodgson.

 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2018 - 6:18 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

THE PRODUCERS
wink)

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2018 - 6:36 PM   
 By:   The Wanderer   (Member)

Under the Skin by Mica Levi would definitely work.

I find John Williams' Images to be terrifying.

I think bits if recent Zimmer would go with some of Lovecrafts imagery, like the Spitfire attack in Dunkirk, or the more mournful tracks from Interstellar with that grand organ sound.

Isle of the Dead by Rachmaninoff also has this unrelenting dread to it which I love.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2018 - 6:55 PM   
 By:   purplemonkeydishwasher   (Member)

I think the entirety of SPK's album "Zamia Lehmanni (Songs Of Byzantine Flowers)" could fit the mood, but I'll highlight the CD bonus track "The Doctrine of Eternal Ice."



https://www.discogs.com/SPK-Zamia-Lehmanni-Songs-Of-Byzantine-Flowers/release/56066

 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2018 - 7:37 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

@purplemonkeydiswasher: thanks for the musical reference. Not only are you are great (fantastic, really) purveyor of rare CDs, but also a source of unusual and exotic music.

 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2018 - 7:40 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

Also - Sadao Bekku's score for the Japanese horror movie MATANGO evokes a lot of the feeling I think you're after. There's a great sense of dread and doom throughout.

And definitely the trippiest of TOHO productions. A very weird, stylish thriller.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2018 - 8:27 PM   
 By:   bobbengan   (Member)

EXCELLENT topic.

I'll put forth, first and foremost, one that was actually written FOR a Lovecraft adaptation, albeit not a very faithful one: Richard Band's FROM BEYOND.

His combination of strings, percussion and otherworldly, tastefully-integrated electronics is a perfect musical evocation of Lovecraft's writing, way more so than the film itself is. Band really nailed it and to me, this is one of the very last scores he wrote that I'd genuinely call great, before he fell down the MIDI rabbit-hole and never rebounded.



I have to strongly recommend avoiding the recent Intrada expansion of this score, with its weirdly terrible sound quality that reduces the scope of the string section to sounding thimble-sized. The La-La-Land is absolutely the way to go, with its luxuriant reverb adding a cavernous scope to the music that really benefits the composition (and Lovecraftian feel) in my opinion.

Frederic Talgorn's magnificent and stately EDGE OF SANITY is also perfectly Lovecraftian in its combination of decadent turn-of-the-century evocations and dissonant horror writing; I'd happily ping this as a theme for an adaptation of THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD or one of Lovecraft's similarly mystery-driven (as opposed to "all-out-horror") works:



For the exact same reasons, I'd also nominate Robert Folk's brilliantly classy, sinuous and evocative score to THE SLAYER as perfectly, elegantly and deliciously "Lovecraftian":



I've also always found James Horner's THE HAND to be very Lovecraftian, with his title theme being a perfect exemplar of Lovecraft's "something dark is brooding beneath the surface-level normalcy" in musical form. Listen to that main title and tell me it doesn't evoke a portrait of a small New England community that seems charming and innocuous enough at a surface level... But beneath which something terrible is lurking:



Ditto for Loek Dikker's incredibly evocative, terrifying score to THE 4TH MAN for me would have been far more befitting a Lovecraft adaptation than the actual film it underscores. Just listen to that main title, with its incredibly dark, churning posturing of ominous things to come:



Ditto for Schifrin's THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, really... And Kilar's THE NINTH GATE, especially that slurring, incredibly sinister main title theme, and perhaps Goldsmith's ALIEN, both for its dark and otherworldly "environmental" scoring and also its elegant and dramatic title theme, which could easily evoke one of Lovecraft's far-flung ancient civilizations beyond human conception...

Great topic!

 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2018 - 11:53 PM   
 By:   dtw   (Member)

...glad you mentioned 'The Ninth Gate' at the end there - that's what I was going to suggest too...

 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2018 - 1:49 AM   
 By:   Valiant65   (Member)

I immediately thought of "Dark City" composed by Trevor Jones.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2018 - 2:23 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

When I read the topic title I immediately thought of three which are in your (Tango's) opening post, and in Bill's subsequent one.

Morricone's (and Carpenter's?) THE THING... although, as you say, the film is already steeped in "Mountains of Madness" ambience.

Baxter's HOUSE OF USHER... all those ghostly moaning voices "from beyond".

Tristram Cary's BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB... again there's a kind of cosmic spookiness of the vastness of space and other dimensions in the fabric of the film itself, so I don't know if it only "sounds" Lovecraftian because the film has a Lovecraftian feel to it, and therefore I'm predisposed.

Slightly off-topic, but when I was a teen, I used to imagine a film version of "At the Mountains of Madness" (decades before all the talk about it maybe being made and then maybe not being made), and I imagined slow opening credits of snowy peaks, the camera creeping over the desolate landscape, and a brooding, growling Alex North score accompaniment. When the miniseries THE WORD, scored by North, was on TV a few years later, I thought that those opening titles would have been perfect for a Lovecraft adaptation.

Will check out those links that some of you have put up.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2018 - 3:13 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

When I think of Lovecraft, I hear those dark (and sometimes throbbing/industrial...almost mechanical) sounds of Christopher Young in scores like HELLRAISER 1 & 2, HAUNTED SUMMER, DARK HALF and FLY II.
If I was making a film of a Lovecraft story, Chris Young would be the one that I want (ooh ooh ooh).

 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2018 - 3:42 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

Not a film score, but the concert work "Angels and Visitations" by Einojuhani Rautavaara, to me, could work as background score for Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness."



Thanks for bringing attention to this piece. I'd not heard it before but just listened and love it!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2018 - 3:48 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Good 'un Kev. Christopher Young's horror scores... but again, some of the films you mention (HELLRAISER etc) are kind of Lovecraftian in concept, so I don't know if the chicken's laying the egg that's laying the chicken. You can add nausea if you wish.

So, what about more non-Lovecraftian films with scores that could be termed Lovecraftian? I mentioned Alex North's THE WORD earlier (ancient, religioso, misterioso, from beyond the grasp of mere humans), but I was just showing off.

Oh, just seeing as I'm here, one of my two favourite composers did a Lovecraft film. THE SHUTTERED ROOM. The absolutely mind-blowingly brilliant and bizzarely bonkers Bazza K avant-garde jazz score was the least Lovecraftian music I've ever heard. Some of his later concept albums with weird recording techniques were more of a Lovecraftian nature.

Now get back on topic you lot, or I'll have the sheriff round.

///ADDED A WEE BIT LATER/// I just typed in "HP Lovecraft Music" at YouTube, and up came a billion concept albums (orchestral, electronic soundscapes, loadsastuff). It might not be what the topic is actually about (maybe too directly related to the source), but it just made me realise that there are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, rather appropriately.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2018 - 5:59 AM   
 By:   MikeP   (Member)

When I think of Lovecraft, I hear those dark (and sometimes throbbing/industrial...almost mechanical) sounds of Christopher Young in scores like HELLRAISER 1 & 2, HAUNTED SUMMER, DARK HALF and FLY II.
If I was making a film of a Lovecraft story, Chris Young would be the one that I want (ooh ooh ooh).



Exactly ! When I saw the thread topic, Young was the first name that came to mind.

 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2018 - 6:21 AM   
 By:   MKRUltra   (Member)

Yep. Young for sure!

 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2018 - 8:56 AM   
 By:   Jeff Bond   (Member)

Freud. Especially the cues used in Alien always conjured up the sense of looming horror in Lovecraft. And although the rest of the score doesn't qualify I always found the cue "New Mate" in Planet of the Apes to have that creepy, Lovecraftian quality.

 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2018 - 10:13 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Following the Rautavaara Angels and Visitations suggestion, I'm going with Artyomov's Lamentations and Symphony of Elegies. See if this doesn't give visions of Lovecraft, William Hope Hodgson, etc....

Lamentations



https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/classical/products/8429587--vyacheslav-artyomov-elegies

 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2018 - 10:41 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

One more - Schnittke's Concerto Grosso #1. Creepy and with a harpsichord no less!



Since he was a film composer as well, not too surprising that his absolute music has the same kind of direct gestures as film music. If you can stand it, hang on until (or just forward to) around 18:55 for the apotheosis of the Whately family.

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2018 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.