The Shining
  • The Shining
  • Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind
  • The Shining A Masterpiece Of Modern Horror (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
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Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind - The Shining: Main Titles (The Shining: Complete Motion Picture Score By Wendy Carlos)

This track is Carlos’ synthesized adaptation of Hector Berlioz’s interpretation of the medieval Latin funeral dirge Dies Irae (“Day of Wrath”) for his Symphonie Fantastique.

Rachel Elkind, producer/co-composer of the scores for the Stanley Kubrick films A Clockwork Orange (1971) and The Shining (1980) talks with TV Store Online about Kubrick and the haunting images of The Shining

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think back about working with Stanley Kubrick on THE SHINING?
ELKIND: Working on A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971) had been such a positive experience for me, but I can’t say the same thing about THE SHINING. Some of the images in that film became very nightmarish to me when I had to watch them over and over while Wendy [Carlos] and I were composing together. There is nothing more traumatizing than an artist who can’t create. In a way, the Jack Torrence character was very Kafka-esque. Stanley was such a brilliant photographer and he had a very wonderful eye, but my experience on THE SHINING wasn’t a very happy one I’m afraid. I stopped working after the experience on THE SHINING. I just felt that when you saw those images over and over, it was just a negative thing. Having been to Africa and seeing for myself how film can effect those that aren’t familiar with what television is, or what a film is directly, I just didn’t want to do more work with all of the real horrors in the world out there because I didn’t want to contribute to the world in that way.

Did Stanley ever tell you why he chose not to use the score you did for THE SHINING?
ELKIND: He never told us directly. We only heard that it just wasn’t what he wanted for the film.  Stanley’s idea of music was to use needle drops.  What Wendy and I had wanted to do for the film was to give it a very textual feeling, something that was very Takamatsu like. We would send Stanley lacquer acetates of the music that we were composing for THE SHINING while they were still shooting the film and even before it would get to him we would hear from the people that we were working with us at Warner Brothers that our music was very scary.

I’ve heard the score and it’s very frightening…
ELKIND: We thought so as well. We also thought that our score was quite magical in a sense and in particular we were very happy with how the work turned out for example in the ballroom scene. Although our score was never used, Wendy and I felt totally justified in how we had envisioned the score for THE SHINING when years later,  Stephen King made the ABC mini-series, and his score sounded very much like the one we had did for Stanley.

When Stanley asked you and Wendy to create the score, did he ever meet with you or sit down to talk with you about what he wanted for the music for THE SHINING?
ELKIND: He never explained anything to us. He never really ever told us what he wanted. We wrote all the music based on Stephen King’s novel.  Just before Wendy and I started to work with Stanley on A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, we had been working with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. When we heard that Stanley was shooting CLOCKWORK we hadn’t even met him yet. Being in our 20’s, we were arrogant about the fact that he hadn’t heard about either of us. At the time I was friends with a literary agent in New York City, and she knew Stanley’s lawyer in Los Angeles. I sent him a recording of our version of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and said, “This is perfect for Stanley’s project…” He said, “Well, I’ll listen to it and if it’s everything that you say it is, then I’ll send it to him.” He sent it off to Kubrick, and within a week Wendy and I were on our way to London to meet with Stanley. When we got there he had already cut in some of our music into A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. With THE SHINING it was a very different experience.

Wendy put out a portion of THE SHINING score on CD a few years back under the title “Rediscovering Lost Scores, Vol. 1…”
ELKIND: Yes, but that is only about an hour of music. We actually had about four hours of music that we did for THE SHINING. The piece we did for the Torrance family driving up to the hotel in the beginning originally featured Jimmy Owens on Trumpet, but Stanley didn’t like it. He thought that it sounded too much like “Little Boy Blue,” but maybe he hadn’t ever heard Miles Davis (Laughing).

I really like the score you and Wendy completed. It really seems like it is this exterior force that could exist in the hotel with the family moving against it…
ELKIND: That was certainly the idea for it. I did all of the voicing on both the scores for A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and THE SHINING, but I’m really sorry that people never got to hear what Wendy and I did for THE SHINING in its entirety. The Shining and A Clockwork Orange Co-Composer Rachel Elkind talks about Stanley Kubrick

The soundtrack, with its notable synthesiser score by Wendy/Walter Carlos was issued on a small run pressing but later recalled due to copyright issues. Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind composed a complete score for the film, but Kubrick decided not to use most of it, instead electing to go mostly with classical compositions. The official soundtrack is largely comprised of that classical work, and the small bits of the Carlos/Elkind score that Kubrick chose to use. While it did get an official release when the film first came out, it was quickly pulled soon after, allegedly because of some issue with the music rights. Thankfully, most of the material by Carlos and Elkin was re-released as part of Carlos’ Lost Scores series, including the music that Kubrick chose not to use. Out Of Print Soundtracks We Need Back In Print

01 — Main Title
Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind
02 — Rocky Mountains
Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind
03 — Lontano
Gyorgy Ligeti
04 — Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Bela Bartok
05 — Urenja (excerpt)
Krzysztof Penderecki
06 — The Awakening of Jacob
Krzysztof Penderecki
07 — De Natura Sonoris No. 2
Krzysztof Penderecki
08 — Home
Henry Hall and the Gleneagles Hotel

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Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind - Theme From A Clockwork Orange (Beethoviana)

Just testing out the fruits of the Tumblr/SoundCloud audio merger and the system works just fine; most of the music that I searched for showed up in one form or another.

Happy 40th Anniversary to Stanley Kubrick’s timeless future shock masterpiece. Cop the Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray (released just yesterday) and “viddy well, lit’le brotha, viddy well.”

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One of the most haunting pieces of music ever put to film.

The opening theme for The Shining not only combines several different electronic pieces composed by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind, it also incorporates disoriented noises, grunts and moans to create an ominous atmosphere that is scene and felt through out the rest of the film.

This opening scene sets the entire mood for this masterpiece of modern horror, one of wonder, fear, disillusionment and ultimately, the loss of sanity.

Watch on my-little-underground.tumblr.com

I always will think the Original trailer to Kubrick’s The Shining is one of the best trailers ever.  I really wish they would release the score because this song they used in this is created by Rachel Elkind and Wendy Carlos, and Kubrick only used two songs from their score in the film. 

3. The Shining (1980)

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Written by: Stanley Kubrick & Diane Johnson, based on the novel by Stephen King
Director of Photography: John Alcott
Composer: Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duval, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson, Philip Stone, Joe Turkel
Oscars: None.
Quotes: “My girls, sir, they didn’t care for the Overlook at first. One of them actually stole a pack of matches, and tried to burn it down. But I corrected them sir. And when my wife tried to prevent me from doing my duty, I corrected her.”

 

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I don’t know what to do with a film like THE SHINING. I’ve been watching it regularly for the past fifteen years, soaking in the endless details, sometimes being genuinely frightened, sometimes not; I watched it last night and asked where the hell that tennis ball came from to an empty room. I’ve read the source novel, watched the obsessive documentary ROOM 237, and attempted to get through the Steven Weber-starring TV miniseries version (it’s unbelievably bad), and yet I could watch it again right now. All the poring over hasn’t dulled the experience in the slightest. There’s always something new to notice, or something that you hadn’t been paying attention to for long enough that it seems newly fresh. But I don’t need to sell anyone on THE SHINING. It’s a difficult film to write about because everything has already been said, so I can only mention the parts that resonate most with me.

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(p.s. The file name listed for this picture on Google is “The-Shining-Black-Dude.” C’mon man, have some respect.)

I first saw this film when I was 15 years old, at the house of a friend who also held screenings of BLAZING SADDLES and FULL METAL JACKET. After the film ended, we had a prolonged discussion on just what it was that fell out of the elevator amongst that tidal wave of blood. A rolled up carpet? A body? If so, whose? Grady’s? Was it Wendy herself? Or was it just a pump used to fill the elevator prior to filming? It was rare to have disagreements over a film. I was in the (questionable) habit of viewing straightforward actioners at the time, where any ambiguity was seen as an impediment to an enjoyable experience. Strangely though, over time I came to realize that despite differing opinions and valid arguments made either way, I seem to agree with every single viewpoint on this film, no matter how contradictory they are. I believe in the greatness of THE SHINING unquestioningly, some might say religiously. So when I hear that the novel is better, I agree (it kind of is). When stories of improvisation come up against the famously meticulous style of the director’s, I bow to the Kubrick intelligence and expertise. When inconsistencies are pointed out (the pattern of the carpet suddenly changing, architectural anomalies), I fit those in to my overall view of the Overlook Hotel being the tricksiest of phantasmal structures. Be careful of the stairs, they like to change.

THE SHINING has always been a more intellectual experience than a visceral one for me, but that makes it no less overwhelming. I can know it took 50 takes to get the tennis ball to roll into exactly the right spot, and it’s utterly chilling when the camera reverses and there’s nothing there. The Overlook luring Danny in with the most sinister of methods turns the very walls into serial killers, and long corridors become exercises in terror as you never know what one benignly open door could lead to. DoP John Alcott’s pioneering of the Steadi Cam leads to uncounted numbers of elegant, precise shots. As the camera moves as smoothly as a floating spirit, Shelley Duvall’s mind is completely rent apart. It’s cruel how the character (and the actress) are preyed upon by the hotel (and the director), and I will defend Duvall’s performance to all comers. She’s been accused of overacting or extreme melodrama, but I can’t think of a more appropriate set of reactions to her (literally) unbelievable circumstances. Just look at the scene towards the end of the film in which Jack has made mincemeat of the bathroom door and is distracted away by the sound of Dick Halloran’s approaching Snow Cat. When Jack leaves to deal with the interloper, Wendy tries to unlock the door and make her escape. Unable to get a grip on the knob, she slashes at it in frustration, as though a knife could help her turn the lock. It’s so sad. Her nerves are frayed beyond the mending, so who cares if she holds her arms strangely while she runs?

 

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It’s difficult to express where the hypnotic power of THE SHINING comes from, or why it continues to hold me in its sway over these fifteen years. The work of ten lifetimes has been poured into it by patient, masterful craftsmen. It a timeless piece of art, beggaring belief that it was released only 34 years ago. It’s a masterpiece, a work of utter genius, and I’m so grateful for it.

I recall a Halloween about eight years ago; I stopped for lunch in a café and floating just above the din of the customers was a hauntingly familiar sound. It was an eerie synthetic feedback, punctuated by sudden orchestral bursts and muttered curses. I looked around, trying to place the source of the electronic hum. A voice spoke.

“Hi Lloyd. Little slow tonight, isn’t it?”

An explosion of maniacal laughter.

THE SHINING has a way of finding me. You might say it’s always been there.

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