Christopher Young talks Psycho

November 2, 2010 | By

No, no, no. Esteemed composer Christopher Young hasn’t experienced a psychotic snap. He talks about Psycho. No idea where you got such a silly idea.

The final slice of Rue Morgue’s 3-part Q&A with composers well-versed in the nuances of horror film scoring is up & running, and it’s the transcript of my discussion with Young based around 3 questions.

What I love about Young is that he’s a film music fan, an educator, a passionate artist, and gracious about his own work. If I had to be stuck on an island and could only choose music by 5 composers, my picks would 99.9%  be Young, Jerry Goldsmith, Bernard Herrmann, Oliver Nelson, and Hugo Friedhofer.

Which Young scores I’d take is a different matter, but they would have to include his horror work, as well as Jennifer 8, Copycat, and Hider in the House, because they’re marinated in pure melancholy. (Hider is a gem, and I don’t’ want to see the film because my own mind has conjured a drama more vivid than the cinematic tale of Gary Busey playing a sleazy Bad Ronald.)

Also of note is a post-Halloween treat (thanks, Pete!) originally spotted by, where you too can listen to a special mix of themes from John Carpenter films. The hour-long program was created by former Carpenter ‘associate’ and co-composer Alan Howarth for Resident Advisor.

I’ll have a list of sampled films in the next blog. The downloadable file is worth checking out for music written when Carpenter’s film output was far more creative and fun than his weak TV (Pro Life) and rare film work of late.

Lastly, Tadlow Music, who brought us crisp digital re-recordings of the full scores to Mikos Rozsa’s El Cid (later reissued via Silva Screen), and more recently Maurice Jarre’s Lawrence of Arabia, have announced their 2-CD set for Basil Poledouris’ Conan the Barbarian. The label has posted a YouTube video of a snippet from the recording session to tease us before the set is released, uhm, today!




Mark R. Hasan, Editor


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