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Baker's Dozen

Deep Space 13: Stephen Mallinder's Favourite Soundtracks
Sean Kitching , July 13th, 2022 09:30

Sean Kitching speaks to Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire and Wrangler about 13 of his favourite science fiction, horror and fantasty film soundtracks


Bebe and Louis Barron – Forbidden Planet

I chose this for multiple reasons. One just on pure sound alone. That idea of using pure electronics on a soundtrack was so groundbreaking. And prescient of what was going to come where people were doing things like we did with The Tourist, almost jamming pure electronic sounds with scenes and it worked so well. Bebe Barron was an early pioneer of electronic music in the studio and the whole story behind that. The unions in Hollywood not allowing it to be called music and instead it had to be called ‘electronic tonalities’. It has to be flagged up because it’s an important part of the electronic battle in music. The electronics war where electronics are striving to be acknowledged as musical sound or having real depth to it, so it’s very important.

It was the first entirely electronic score for a film. Supposedly the producers originally wanted Harry Partch to do the score and apparently it was John Cage who convinced them that they should call their work music to begin with.

It’s kind of the beginnings of electronics as sound design, obviously we’re not at the Walter Murch stage yet but the idea that designing sound for a film is a completely new ballgame, you’re not just orchestrating a scene, which is fascinating in itself.