The work of Louis and Bebe Barron on Forbidden Planet exemplifies a type of agency and technological voluntarism in music and sound creation. During the production of the score for the film the Barron’s created circuits which would be used as a signifier for particular characters, much in the style of the leitmotif of Richard Wagner. This technique is still used today, although more in the sense of classical scores having themes for each character. Since the antagonist of Forbidden Planet is the invisible manifestation of Morbius’ (a space-age cousin to Morpheus of Shakespeare’s Tempest) Id, an accompanying distinguishable sound was utilized to indicate its presence on screen. Likewise, a different circuit was used for each character, the Barron’s even giving them names and calling them their children.
Headphones or good speakers for best results. Lay back, relax, and have a nice ride.
The best part was the young ones getting involved!
This project stemmed from my interest in a film titled The Five Obstructions which was introduced to me by my professors at Knox College. The premise revolves around a challenge presented by Lars von Trier to his favorite director, Jorgen Leth, to redo his classic 1962 film, The Perfect Human. I hope this piece builds on that legacy, or at least brings something new to the table.