Music of Stranger Things

Since winning an Emmy last year for their soundtrack to Stranger Things, Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein having been giving interviews about their development process. As a synthwave fan myself, I was originally planning to post these when we talked about synthesizers. However, many of the ideas that we talked about in Tuesday’s class come out in these interviews.  In particular, they show how thinking about sounds this way is relevant to commercial music and is not just an experimental art form.

There are two interviews of note, both which took place this past June.  The first is the Vanity Fair interview where they specifically talk about Stranger Things.

Vanity Fair Interview

Here are two things to look for in this interview.  First, they point out how they use atonal and microtonal sounds to create feelings of horror or action.  One of the sounds used was recorded on a field recorder that they carried around with them.  Related to the larger question of “what is music?”, they also explain why they prefer analog synths over modern computers; they feel that the irreproducibility of the experience is important to music as an art form.

The Spitfire Audio interview is a slightly longer interview where they discuss their history with the band SURVIVE.

Spitfire Audio Interview

In this interview they talk about how they got into computer music.  In the beginning, they would capture sounds with a field recorder and learn how to compose with these sounds.  This experience taught them to use analog synthesizers not just as tools, but as musical instruments.

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