Sounds of the Future

Essays on Music in Science Fiction Film

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About the Book

Covering titles ranging from Rocketship X-M (1950) to Wall-E (2008), these insightful essays measure the relationship between music and science fiction film from a variety of academic perspectives. Thematic sections survey specific compositions utilized in science fiction movies; Broadway’s relationship with the genre; science fiction elements in popular songs; the conveyance of subjectivity and identity through music; and such individual composers as Richard Strauss (2001: A Space Odyssey) and Bernard Herrmann (The Day the Earth Stood Still).

About the Author(s)

Mathew J. Bartkowiak is a former associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of American Studies at Michigan State University.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Mathew J. Bartkowiak
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 239
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4480-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5650-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Introduction      1

—Mathew J. Bartkowiak

PART I. “OPEN THE POD DOOR, HAL”: A SURVEY OF MUSIC’S ROLE IN SCIENCE FICTION FILM

1. A Familiar Sound in a New Place: The Use of the Musical Score Within the Science Fiction Film      10

—Cara Marisa Deleon

2. A Popular Avant-Garde: The Paradoxical Tradition of Electronic and Atonal Sounds in Sci-Fi Music Scoring      22

—Lisa M. Schmidt

PART II. “GIVE MY REGARDS TO THE BARYCENTER”: BROADWAY’S RELATION TO SCIENCE FICTION FILM

3. “Hello WALL-E!”: Nostalgia, Utopia, and the Science Fiction Musical      44

—Kathryn A.T. Edney and Kit Hughes

4. Just Imagine: The Musical Effacement of Dystopia in an Early Sound Film      67

—Katherine Spring

PART III. BECOMING THE STAR-CHILD: MUSIC AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF SUBJECTIVITY

5. Ambient Reverberations: Diegetic Music, Science Fiction, and Otherness      88

—Seth Mulliken

6. Sci-Fi Film and Sounds of the Future      100

—Matthias Konzett

PART IV. MOON/SPOON/CROON: SCIENCE FICTION AND POPULAR MUSIC

7. “It’s Hip to Be Square”: Rock and Roll and the Future      118

—Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper

8. The Intergalactic Lounge: Barbarella and Hearing the Future      134

—Mathew J. Bartkowiak

9. Proposing an Alter-Destiny: Science Fiction in the Art and Music of Sun Ra      148

—Jerome J. Langguth

PART V. “ALL THOSE MOMENTS”: INSTANCES THAT SHAPED OUR AUDITORY FUTURE

10. Suspended Motion in the Title Scene from The Day the Earth Stood Still      164

—Stephen Husarik

11. Strauss, Kubrick and Nietzsche: Recurrence and Reactivity in the Dance of Becoming That Is 2001: A Space Odyssey      177

—Gregg Redner

PART VI. “SETTING THE CONTROLS FOR THE HEART OF THE SUN”: COMPOSERS AND COMPOSITIONS IN SCIENCE FICTION FILM

12. Rocketship X-M: The Sounds of a Martian Breeze      194

—John C. Tibbetts

13. Seeing Beyond His Own Time: The Sounds of Jerry Goldsmith      210

—Cynthia J. Miller

About the Contributors      223

Index      227

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended”—Choice.