In discussion with Modyfier on “Twin Peaks” by Angelo Badalamenti (1990).
What was your first encounter with Angelo Badalamenti? Did you notice the music when “Twin Peaks” was originally aired?
It was when the first season debuted in the spring of 1990. I was eleven and used to watch the show regularly with my parents. It made quite an impression on me. It was around that time that I started to become aware of abstractions and my mind wandered into the incredible world of intangible things. The show was the perfect guide, pulling me further into this exploration. I’d like to say that I didn’t notice the music apart from the imagery (because together, I think they make up the show), but I can’t. The first season soundtrack (on cassette) was one of the earliest albums I ever bought. I loved the access the music provided. Listening to it, I’d immediately be transported to Twin Peaks.
Did you have the instant impression that your fascination with the soundtrack would outlast the TV experience as a singular work of art? Can it be held apart from the series?
“Twin Peaks” is best when experienced the way it was meant to be: as a moving picture with sound. While it is possible for each to exist without the other, they lack full form. For example, if you listen to the soundtrack on its own, it is constantly evoking imagery from the show. It reaches out for it, plucking it ripe from the memory branches of your mind. Badalamenti is successful in painting Lynch’s vision precisely with his composition.
As far as my ‘fascination’ with the soundtrack, I’d reiterate that I think it is best when listened to in the context of the show. For that reason, I don’t think it has outlasted the experience of the series. The characters and places have a dark beauty and frank oddity that are created as equally by Badalamenti’s music as they are by Lynch’s imagery and narration. For me, the soundtrack is so much more than merely associative. There is a symbiosis that makes me think cymatics are at play. When things are put into motion in “Twin Peaks” (when characters and places interact in different combinations) events begin to happen that are outside of the rational. A door is opened into an unexplainable dimension that is conveyed through the important combination of picture and sound. Read the rest of this entry »