David Slusser and Music Cues

Discussion on the music of Twin Peaks

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Sam Howzit
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David Slusser and Music Cues

Postby Sam Howzit » Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:03 am

I just finished listening to the Season 2 soundtrack again (difficult to believe that I've waited since 1993 to own this music). I've always been a big fan of the music (going back to the early days of WIP and writing letters asking about such and such music). This past summer I completed a little project using Adobe Audition and something to do with center channel audio (another topic for another time).

Nevertheless, what struck me after listening to the recent soundtrack is the number of combined cues. I think there was audio commentary from the original Season 1 DVD release about the number of music cues created for the show (oh to have THAT CD!!). After a search on the net, I found the following: Interview with David Slusser

"My experiences with David Lynch did get much more involved, though. For TWIN PEAKS, I knew I would have to be flexible as an editor, so I mixed down the modest number of cues Angelo wrote in every combination I could, even separate instruments, and built them differently for each scene, allowing David to transform them during the course of a scene. Certain combinations became themeatic and lasted throughout the series. In WILD AT HEART, Lynch really relied on me again for that flexability [sic]. Since the picture never locked, even during the mix, he painted himself into a few corners with the existing music. He went out driving late one night during the course of the mix, and heard an old song on the radio that inspired him with some unifying musical ideas. The next day he asked me to put a band together and do some knockoffs. I had the guys in the scoring stage by late afternoon. He was really happy with what I came up with, and asked me to do one of Angelo's themes as well. Now we were cooking. We ended up with David conducting us doing atmospherics for underscore. He used a great deal of it in the film, as well as conducting me playing low string pads on a synclavier in the final mix. I was flattered when he actually hired me as a composer to do the same sort of thing when he did FIRE WALK WITH ME. I've no illusions about being a film composer, because almost all (Hollywood) films are put together as a marketing package deal, and frequently the director has little input as to who he has as a composer; it's always the same handful."

I don't know if the "TWIN PEAKS" he is referencing the entire series or just the pilot (would seem like the former). It does, however, shed light on the music mixing process. I particularly think of Harold's Theme on the new CD. I don't recall hearing that complete mix during the series ... I only recall bits and pieces ... extracted elements if you will as mentioned above. The same could be said for Dark Mood Woods, Audrey, Love Theme Intro, etc.

Granted, I realize that there will probably never be a day when I could just download each music cue for $.99 each via iTunes (then again, I never thought I'd hold a Season 2 soundtrack in my hands). Maybe in 25 years.

Oh well ... thought the interview was interesting.


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