Tuesday, 20 May 2008

FAREWELL MOON (epitaph musick)

This post is dedicated to Bebe Barron (16 June 1925 - 20 April 2008)

BARRON LOUIS & BARRON BEBE
FORBIDDEN PLANET (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Original Issue: 1956 (1956 Metro Goldwyn Mayer) & 1978 Small Planet (PR-001)

Reissue: 1989 Small Planet (PRD-001)

Margot-meter: 5 moons / 5

1 Main Titles - Overture (2:21)
2 Deceleration (0:55)
3 Once Around Altair (1:10)
4 The Landing (0:50)
5 Flurry Of Dust - A Robot Approaches (1:10)
6 A Shangri-La In The Desert / Garden With Cuddly Tiger (1:33)
7 Graveyard-A Night With Two Moons (1:16)
8 "Robby, Make Me A Gown" (1:18)
9 An Invisible Monster Approaches (0:48)
10 Robby Arranges Flowers, Zaps Monkey (1:18)
11 Love At The Swimming Hole (3:12)
12 Morbius' Study (0:38)
13 Ancient Krell Music (1:48)
14 The Mind Booster - Creation Of Matter (0:58)
15 Krell Shuttle Ride And Power Station (2:34)
16 Giant Footprints In The Sand (0:45)
17 "Nothing Like This Claw Found In Nature!" (1:26)
18 Robby, The Cook, And 60 Gallons Of Booze (1:07)
19 Battle With Invisible Monster (2:55)
20 "Come Back To Earth With Me" (1:19)
21 The Monster Pursues - Morbius Is Overcome (5:49)
22 The Homecoming (1:59)
23 Overture - Reprise (2:15)

from Wikipedia:

The movie's innovative electronic music score (credited as "Electronic tonalities" partly to avoid having to pay movie industry music guild fees) was composed by Louis and Bebe Barron. Their score is widely credited with being the first completely electronic film score, and helped open the door for electronic music in film. The synthesized sounds of "bleeps, blurps, whirs, whines, throbs, hums and screeches" that make up the sound track contained carefully developed themes and motifs, while supporting the general atmosphere of the various scenes.

Using the equations presented in the 1948 book "Cybernetics: Or, Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine" by mathematician Norbert Wiener, Louis Barron constructed the electronic circuits which he used to generate sounds. Most of the tonalities were generated using a circuit called a ring modulator. After recording the base sounds, Louis and Bebe Barron further manipulated the material by adding effects, such as reverb and delay, and reversing or changing the speed of certain sounds.

The soundtrack for Forbidden Planet preceded the Moog synthesizer of 1964 by almost a decade.

As Louis and Bebe Barron did not belong to the Musicians' Union, their work was not considered for an Academy Award – either in the soundtrack category nor in the special effects category. Curiously, MGM avoided releasing a soundtrack album when the film was first released. However, film composer-conductor David Rose released a 45-rpm single of his original main title theme for Forbidden Planet, which he had recorded at MGM Studios in Culver City, California in March 1956. This theme was the unused discarded theme since David Rose had originally been contracted to compose the film’s music score in 1955, but was discharged from his assignment between Christmas 1955 and New Year’s by MGM producer Dore Schary, who discovered the Barrons quite by chance at a beatnik nightclub in Greenwich Village, New York while on a family Christmas visit to NYC. Schary hired Louis & Bebe Barron on the spot, and contracted with them to do the film music score, the first electronic music (excepting the theremin) ever heard on a theater screen.

5 comments:

Margot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron said...

Yay! Thanks, Margot. Wicked!

Mister Niles said...

I just got this months copy of the WIRE and was sad to hear the news of Bebe Barrons death. I was surprised I hadn't heard earlier. I already have this, but thanks for the tribute. Such an import and and amazing document of early electronic music.

Lambda said...

many thanks, great score!

bikefridaywalter said...

This is freaking incredible. Way better than I thought. Haunting, even. I betcha Spellbound, even if it predates this, can't hold a candle to it. HE BUILT HIS OWN CIRCUITS, TOO!

P.S. Forbidden Planet included a serious role from Leslie Neilsen. ;D