Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Book Excerpt of the Day

For the 1974 live-action Planet of the Apes TV show Lalo Schifrin clearly made an effort to deliver music consistent with the big screen series. The Argentinean composer provided a jarringly primitive, atonal, electronically accented theme and scored several episodes including the first. Taking a stylistic cue from Jerry Goldsmith and Leonard Rosenman, Schifrin created a percussion-heavy, action-packed sound. He uses orchestral dissonance to capture the alienation felt by astronauts lost in a dystopian and primitive future where apes rule over men. Shuddering strings, nervous woodwinds, strident brass and atmospheric keyboards create a persistent and nightmarish tension and sense of urgency. The closest Schifrin had previously come to such a sound was on his Dirty Harry scores. Schifrin also recorded two funkified tracks — “Ape Shuffle” and “Escape from Tomorrow” — for a promotional 45 at the time.

– from Chapter 5: Sci-fidelity and the Superhero Spectrum of Kristopher Spencer’s Film and Television Scores, 1950-1979

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