Scored to Death: Conversations with Some of Horror's Great Composers
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Scored to Death: Conversations with Some of Horror's Greatest Composers, collects 14 info-packed, terrifyingly entertaining interviews with renowned film composers who have provided music for some of the horror genre’s greatest films and franchises, including Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, Maniac, The Fog, Prince of Darkness, Cujo, Dawn of the Dead, Deep Red, Suspiria, Santa Sangre, Zombie, The Beyond, Insidious, The Conjuring, Hostel, The Strangers, House of the Devil, and many more!
Interviewed are director-composer John Carpenter; sound designer-composer Alan Howarth; Italian composers and members of the band Goblin (known for their scores for Dario Argento films) Claudio Simonetti and Maurizio Guarini; Hollywood composers Christopher Young, Tom Hajdu (of the composing team tomandandy),Charles Bernstein, Jay Chattaway, and Nathan Barr; as well as horror notables Fabio Frizzi, Simon Boswell, Joseph Bishara, Jeff Grace, and Harry Manfredini.
Foreword by director/producer Larry Fessenden
What the Masters of Horror are Saying About Scored to Death
“Try to imagine the shower scene in Psycho without the famous staccato strings of Bernard Herrmann, and you begin to realize how important music is in making your skin crawl while watching a horror film. In J. Blake Fichera’s fascinating book, Scored to Death, he introduces you to some of the genre’s greatest composers as they explain the process of creating unforgettable nightmares of sound.”
director of Re-Animator, From Beyond,
Castle Freak, and Fortress
“This book is the best opportunity you will have to peek behind the curtains of those people who create the soundtrack of your life! The music they create provides the emotional road map to the narrative for the audience, and embeds those moments in your memory forever. I highly recommend this for any film or music buff!”
director of Fright Night,
Child’s Play, and Thinner
The Soska Sisters
“Have you ever watched Suspiria without the volume on? Or Halloween? Or Hostel? Music elevates a film to a level it could never achieve otherwise. It conjoins with the imagery. It burns into your memory. Too often we know the films, we can hum the tunes, but cannot name the composers or tell their stories. J. Blake Fichera’s brilliant Scored to Death gets into the meat of talented musicians and pulls out their insides for you to enjoy. A must-have for any horror aficionado.”
—The Soska Sisters,
directors of Dead Hooker in a Trunk,
American Mary, and See No Evil 2
“This was music to my eyes! About time someone shined a light on the unsung heroes who compose many of the soundtracks of our nightmares. Great insight into their varied approaches to the craft.”
director of Squirm, Blue Sunshine,
and Just Before Dawn
“Too rarely do we hear from the maestros of film music, so preoccupied are we with the auteurs behind the camera and the actors that fill the frame.... J. Blake Fichera goes a long way towards correcting that. The musicians in this generous volume are given the time to reveal themselves and their processes. What emerges is a better understanding of the demands of the craft and the essential influence that the film score has on the audience’s experience.”
— Larry Fessenden,
director of Habit, Wendigo,
and The Last Winter
Joe Bob Briggs
“Horror films live and die with their musical scores, and J. Blake Fichera has delved deeply into the craft of finding that rear lobe of the brain where terror connects with sound. Some of these composers are well known to horror aficionados, others will be surprising discoveries, but all of them have something unique to say about this least understood aspect of genre filmmaking. If you claim to know how horror movies work, this book is a must-read.”
—Joe Bob Briggs,
movie critic and author of
Profoundly Disturbing: Shocking Movies
that Changed History!