04 Blade Runner Films: Noir & Electronic Scores

Dec 01, 2017, 05:45 PM

In this episode, we’ll explore the music in BLADE RUNNER and in BLADE RUNNER 2049 through films noir as well as electronic movie music. We’ll talk sound design much more than usual as its so tightly integrated into the soundscapes of these films.

Also related is a discussion on some of the social issues inherent in the music of the BLADE RUNNERs and noir, specifically race and gender politics.

SPOILERS for most of the major plot points in BLADE RUNNER and BLADE RUNNER 2049.

Show Notes:

0:00:00 - Introduction 0:01:22 - Blade Runner as Hybrid Genre Sci-fi Noir 0:04:30 - Film Noir Music: Intro / Classic Noir 0:09:22 - Jazz in Film: Race & Gender / The Crooner & Chanteuse 0:17:56 - Blade Runner: Memory & Nostalgia 0:20:00 - Noir: Trope of the Jazzy Solo Instrument 0:25:50 - Blade Runner / Chariots of Fire: Expressive & Emotional Electronics 0:28:29 - Electronic Film Music: Alien Sounds / Theremin 0:32:16 - Electronic Film Music: Forbidden Planet / Blurring of Music & Sound Design 0:33:34 - Vehicle Sounds: Blade Runner Films & Forbidden Planet 0:40:02 - Influence of Weather in Music & Film Scores 0:53:48 - Multiculturalism: Blade Runner & Films Noir 1:00:20 - Piano Symbolism in Blade Runner Films 1:04:07 - Reverb & Voice / Voiceover Narration 1:10:43 - 2019 vs. 2049: Stasis vs. Movement 1:19:20 - Outro / Sources / Social media / “Tears in Rain”

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All episodes are written and produced by Nick Nylen.


Noir Music Books (all on Amazon): “Jazz Noir: Listening to Music from The Phantom Lady to The Last Seduction” by David Butler “Sired City: Sound and Source Music in Classic American Noir” by Robert Miklitsch “Music in the Shadows: Noir Musical Films” by Sheri Chinen Biesen “Jazz and Cocktails: Rethinking Race and the Sound of Film Noir” by Jans B. Wager “Film Music: A Neglected Art” by Roy M. Pendergast

Other Noir Sources: Articles “Scoring Evil” by Brian Light and “On The Downbeat: Investigating the Special Relationship between Film Noir and Jazz” by Woody Haut from Noir City E-Magazine, Summer 2015 Issue. Available on the Film Noir Foundation’s website: www.noircity.com.

Essay “Crossing Musical Borders: The Soundtrack to Touch of Evil” by Jill Leeper from the book “Soundtrack Available: Essays on Film and Pop Music” (available on Amazon).

Essay “Notes on Film Noir” by Paul Shrader, published 1972 (http://intelligentagent.com/noir/Schrader.pdf)

Podcasts (all on iTunes): “Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir” “Noir Talk”, two part series “Hollywood Nocturne: Classical Film Noir Scores”

Electronic Music Books (all on Amazon): “Forbidden Planet: A Film Score Guide” by James Wierzbicki “Off The Planet: Music, Sound, and Science Fiction Cinema”, edited by Philip Hayward

Blade Runner Specific Sources: Book “Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner” by Paul M. Sammon (available on Amazon) Book “Sound Design and Science Fiction” by Willian Whittington (available on Amazon) Video Essay “Listening to Blade Runner” by The Nerdwriter (https://youtu.be/4T_sSSka9pA) Essay “The Music in Blade Runner” by Andrew Stiller from Book “Retrofitting Blade Runner: Issues in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” (available on Amazon)