Michael Phillips

The sound of fear: Movie music for a scarifying Halloween

The sound of fear: Movie music for a scarifying Halloween

Second year of college, I shared a mouse-ridden rental house way, way off campus with a rotating cast of drama department undergraduates interested in film music and, I suppose, in getting freaked out in a relatively safe environment.

Late one night, somebody turned the living room lights off and turned on the motion picture soundtrack album of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” This was around Halloween. The music cued up was Gyorgy Ligeti's “Requiem,” first heard in the film when the astronauts on the moon approach the baffling obelisk.

It’s the most intense and disturbing stuff. How long could we actually...

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