Music has broad shoulders


Gregg Williard remembers the childhood comforts of movie soundtracks @ Artocratic. If I said I used to hear particular music all the time, I expect you’d nod with recognition. Maybe, if you’re from my generation, you’d recount how you used to spin Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” or Miles Davis’ “Round About Midnight” until the worn needle skated clean off the vinyl on a dust bunny cloud. Or more recently you’ve programmed your iPod to repeat some Arcade Fire song for 80 hours of obsessive to autistic easy listening.

Then I’d say, well, it was even worse, and you’d reassure me that, hey, you’d been there too, maybe citing one of the TV commercial jingles that have jujued generations. Or themes from the '60s and '70s such as The Brady Bunch, The Addams Family or Green Acres. Everyone has their own sound worm war stories, right?

Yes. But. The music I heard wasn’t quite like any of that.

It started on a Friday night at 10:00. I was eight years old. It was the first season of a new TV show called The Twilight Zone. I watched as the optical diaphragm of the CBS eye spiraled open, and heard the first tones of what would become a 40-year-long soundtrack to my life. Like I said, it was music of a very particular kind: not jingles or croons, not my sister’s rock 'n' roll or my mother’s classical standards. It was so different that it seemed to be something beyond music itself. It took me a long, stunned time before I thought to watch for the end credits and learn the name after “music by”: Bernard Herrmann.

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