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Escape from New York (Original Film Soundtrack) by John Carpenter

Escape from New York (Original Film Soundtrack) by John Carpenter

Album Review

John Carpenter is a rarity among film directors in that he is also a composer who writes the musical scores for his movies. Carpenter’s 1981 film Escape from New York was a kind of genre hybrid, a science fiction crime thriller with suggestions of a spaghetti Western thrown in. Set in a near future when Manhattan has been converted into a no-man’s-land prison, the movie needed an appropriately futuristic soundtrack, and Carpenter came up with a score for synthesizer that he played with his sound designer, Alan Howarth. Despite the instrumentation, however, the composer retained a style familiar from such earlier works as Halloween. He favored simple, repetitive keyboard figures, generally two per sequence, set in a fast-slow counterpoint. The Escape from New York score had a few changes of pace, notably a borrowing from Debussy and an ersatz Broadway show tune, “Everyone’s Coming to New York” (“Shoot a cop with a gun/The Big Apple is plenty of fun”), written by Nick Castle, but most of the music sounded like earlier Carpenter scores, similarly creating a tense, ominous tone much of the time. The high-tech sound was…




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