Synthesizers in the Movies

Hans Zimmer and his Moog Modular

Composer Neil Brand celebrates the art of cinema music, Neil explores how changing technology has taken soundtracks in bold new directions and even altered our very idea of how a film should sound.

In the last of three programmes in which composer Neil Brand celebrates the art of cinema music, Neil explores how changing technology has taken soundtracks in bold new directions and even altered our very idea of how a film should sound.

Neil tells the story of how the 1956 science fiction film Forbidden Planet ended up with a groundbreaking electronic score that blurred the line between music and sound effects, and explains why Alfred Hitchcock’s the Birds has one of the most effective soundtracks of any of his films – despite having no music. He shows how electronic music crossed over from pop into cinema with Midnight Express and Chariots of Fire, while films like Apocalypse Now pioneered the concept of sound design – that sound effects could be used for storytelling and emotional impact.

Neil tracks down some of the key composers behind these innovations to talk about their work, such as Vangelis (Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner), Carter Burwell (Twilight, No Country for Old Men) and Clint Mansell (Requiem for a Dream, Moon).

Sound of Cinema: The Music that Made the Movies

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