The music of Angelo Badalamenti

You have likely heard music written by Angelo Badalamenti.  The 77 year old composer has been a prolific producer of quirky musical scores for movies and television.  He’s most well known for working with David Lynch. Badalamenti composed the score for Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway and of course, Twin Peaks and the movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

However, he also composed music for the movie Secretary, aka 50 Shades of Gray long before it was cool.  He wrote the music for The City of Lost Children, Dark Water, and even Nic Cage’s horrible Wicker Man remake. He even composed music for National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors (aka the best Nightmare).

Badalamenti’s style is sort of a slow jazz, very understated compared to the big brassy sounds of movie composers like John Williams or Danny Elfman.  His music slides under a scene instead of dominating it.  This isn’t to say the other composers aren’t as good – it all depends on the tone of the film. Badalamenti’s music fits best with mysteries, dramas, and horror; his music is a perfect companion to a slow burn, not an explosive action thriller.

The composer was awarded a lifetime achievement award in 2008, and won a grammy in the 1990s for Twin Peaks.

If you haven’t taken a listen to his work, I highly recommend checking him out.


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