‘Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems, in a place
that perhaps you’ve seen in your dreams. For the story that you are
about to be told, took place in the holiday worlds of old.’
– The Nightmare Before Christmas, literally one of the best films ever made.
Hush, stop arguing. You are wrong. If I was not concerned about Copy Right you’d have had the whole script.
Moving away from film and back to music – technically what we are all about – we should go on a break neck tour of some scary sounds suitable for the up coming hallowed eve. HALLOWEEN!
BOO Goes the Theremin
Not really. Its more of a woo-wooo-wooo. Very ‘tragic maiden just fell out the bell tower and went splat’.
Developed in the 1920s by a Russian inventor, Leon Theremin, the Theremin instrument is played without any physical contact by the player. ‘WITCHCRAFT’ I hear you cry. Kinda. There is science but, truth be told, I’m still getting my head around it.
It consists of two antennas that capture the position of your hands letting you control the frequency and amplitude of your tone.
Below, you can see a video of Leon Theremin himself performing on this straight up magic instrument. It gets good at 16 Seconds.
Scariest. Chimes. Ever.
This is some serious ‘the Demon from Hell has actually taken over your Mother and is doing some odd stuff, but you do your best to ignore it as – yanno – fear and all,’ kind of sound.
The Waterphone, aka the Ocean Harp, is made from stainless steel with a cylindrical neck and features different bronze rods of various lengths and diameters around the side. The resonator will sometimes have some water inside to add something extra to the instrument’s unique effects. It is vastly used in special effects – no duh – as well as classical music and more.
Listen to it below… if you dare. I don’t. Once was enough for me, this stuff is starting to mess with me. I’m tempted to go full Hermione and start using mirrors to look around corners in case something is waiting for me. (Yes, Harry Potter. IT BELONGS EVERYWHERE. No, stop it. As we cover at the start. DON’T. ARGUE. WITH. ME.)
Don’t worry. Here’s some easy to access stuff to scare the bejeezus out of Nan.
Like Orchestral Strings.
Romantic, Classical, Baroque. These might be what jump to mind when you think of sting instruments. It’s certainly whats Nanna’s thinking of, unless she is the exception whom I’m going to say proves the rule. (What was that? Nothing? Good. You’re learning, well done you.)
However, in the hands of someone like Hans Zimmer, you get something quiet different.
OOh, an Organ
Phantom of the Opera. https:/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUv3Ox0E87Q This footage contains flashing lights, just FYI.
The Synthesizer. No techno here.
Lastly a versatile instrument that creates sounds, melodies and backings galore.
Arguabley its most famous horror use in is in Hitchcocks The Birds. See if you can hear it in the below, (hint: squawk.)