Music For Writers: John Carpenter

john-carpenter-lost-themesAs a filmmaker, John Carpenter works in a milieu of excess. And it is that very tendency which has helped define his body of work, carving out a bold cinematic niche for criminal deviance and horror.

As an award winning musician, and the provider of soundtrack for many of those films, Carpenter can be similarly defined. He has never been shy about reaching out for mass affect, even if in scattered moments the results can feel over the top. Carpenter’s movies (most prominently his “Halloween” series and “The Thing”, his Lovecraft influenced masterwork) are global canon to horror viewers, but curiously, his musical output has, until the last two years, gone uncollected aside from a few tough to find soundtracks.

In 2015 Carpenter’s debut album, Lost Themes was released with the help of his son, Cody. This volume gathers together the first definitive collection of Carpenter’s signature electronic compositions. The album is a treasure trove of bold, sweeping keyboards that are anything but discrete, filled with staggering pulses and drives, never drifting off into the ponderous water.

As a writer, I throw on Lost Themes while I’m breaking story. There is a constant forward momentum, as there is in Carpenter’s film plots, and his music forces the imagination to those other places. Playing at low volume is recommended as this recordings feature high production value, bold clear sounds that are engineered to be played loud. Still, tracks like “Vortex” “Obsidian”, and “Abyss” provide simmering mood music for your story brainstorming sprint.

Here is a link to John Carpenter’s Lost Themes on Bandcamp.

Have you given this record a chance? Do you have a favorite album to listen to while writing? Leave me a comment and I’ll review it.