Gyorgy Ligeti’s Atmospheres. You’ve probably heard it, even if you don’t recognize the name, or the composer’s name. It’s used in 2001: A Space Odyssey, in the scene where they investigate the monolith on the moon.
I was a kid (teenager) when I saw that movie, but I was fascinated by that music. I eventually found out what it was, and that led to a lifelong love of Ligeti’s music.
Kubrick used Ligeti’s music again in Eyes Wide Shut. That two-note piano music is the second movement of Ligeti’s Musica Ricercata. It’s pretty creepy.
I used to interpret in churches a lot. Once in a while there was a hymn that would creep me out. There was one where they kept singing about being “Washed in the blood of the lamb,” and another one with a different verse about each of Jesus’ wounds, and it got really specific. Then there was one where the chorus was the Jews saying “His blood be on us and our children.” I got really uncomfortable during that one.
Good god yes. I heard it first in college and just freaked. When I was told that Penderecki was trying to evoke the feelings of skin blistering off in an a-bomb attack, I was like “yeah, that sounds about right.”
When it comes to rock songs, it’s funny - Peter Gabriel has a song called The Intruder off PG3. It’s about what it sounds like: a guy breaking into a woman’s room and preparing to rob and assault her. It’s creepy with a great scary feel - and I can listen to it just fine. I mean, it’s Peter Gabriel, known good guy and assumer of roles in his songs, so I can keep it at arm’s length.
But the song by The Toadies, Possum Kingdom, freaks me right out. It’s another song written from the criminal’s perspective, a rapist/killer seducing his prey with promises and lies. I love the groove - the non-4/4 time keeps it off balance, and it just rocks overall - but I can’t listen to it anymore.
This is actually a bit unnerving. I don’t know if it is because it reminds me of the Shining, or just because there is something about this particular type of music that is unsettling and that is why the Shining used it.
Looking into it, the composer did most of the music for the shining. Ah.
Eh. I just listened, it sounded like someone mumbling while I played Excite bike on NES and had a fan running.
Xiu Xiu’s entire “A Promise” album. It just sounds like the sonic equivalent of descending into madness. The entire album just creeps me out–I mean, I like it, but it’s just a very stressful listen, with instrumental minimalism, punctuated by brutally glitchy-machine like beats, and a wavering, emotive vocal that sounds like someone on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Here’s one track, “Apistat Commander.”