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Baker's Dozen

Beloved Transmissions: Mary Anne Hobbs' Favourite Albums
Daniel Dylan Wray , May 22nd, 2017 08:14

Ahead of her curation at the Manchester International Festival, Mary Anne Hobbs guides Daniel Dylan Wray on an inspiring trip through 13 records that shaped her life


Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks Soundtrack
I had a conversation with Ken Loach recently and he has a really interesting view on music in film. He said to me that the narrative of any film should stand alone and he feels like in so many cases that music is used to prop up a narrative that isn't really there. It's an interesting perspective because it's almost the polar opposite to the way in which Angelo Badalamenti's music contributes to Twin Peaks. For me, it's all about that seminal scene with Audrey in the diner and she pumps the money into the jukebox and dances alone on the floor of the diner, this extraordinary sensual dance and this music is so strange and you hear it flooding out into the space and almost swelling the room, it's a physical presence in the room as Audrey sways in front of that jukebox. I think in terms of accentuating the eccentricity of David Lynch's work, and really what it was that he was trying to communicate with those characters, I can't think of a more successful soundtrack. It works as a fundamental part of the DNA of that series.

Every time I play it it takes my breath away, it feels almost as if it's music that could have been made by an alien. It doesn't even feel of this world. There's so much I really love about Twin Peaks, I'm obsessed with every element of it. There are elements of that series that are just devastating and stay with me all the time but it's Angelo's music that really seats me so deeply within that scene. I think it's his music that rivets me inside a scene, in spite of the brilliant complexity of the script and the way in which the casting is so immaculate. In fact, in spite of the brilliance of every other component part of Twin Peaks, and there is brilliance in every direction you turn, it's the music that really creates an atmosphere that makes you feel like you can literally step into it and it's an atmosphere that you're entirely unfamiliar with. It doesn't matter how many times you see or hear it it's still as evocative - you can't know it, you know it but you don't because it creates a kind of tension inside you, it creates an unease and there's a beauty about it but there's an emotional response that's always quite exciting and uncomfortable at the same time. It's a beautiful anxiety but it's an anxiety nonetheless and despite all these years of knowing it and knowing what is coming, it still does that to me. I love it when music unsettles me in that way. Often when you're familiar with something it loses the power to unsettle you but Twin Peaks still absolutely does.