John Carpenter Releases First New Non-Soundtrack Music Since 2016

Most audiences know John Carpenter for his contributions to the horror genre, having directed films like Halloween, The Thing, and They Live, but recent years have seen the filmmaker focus more heavily on crafting original music, with Carpenter sharing two new tracks he created, marking his first release of non-soundtrack music since 2016. In 2018, Carpenter collaborated with his son Cody Carpenter and also Daniel Davies to develop the score for the David Gordon Green-directed Halloween, allowing him to blend the signature sounds he had been developing over the decades to apply them to a revival of the franchise he helped create.

The new tracks, "Skeleton" and "Unclean Spirit," are available to stream on most music providers and will be available on a special edition 12" that is set to hit shelves on August 28th.

Carpenter's last directing effort, The Ward, debuted in 2010, with the filmmaker then focusing his efforts on his musical career. Dating back to his first films, Carpenter crafted their scores mostly out of necessity, knowing that he could apply what he knew about synthesizers to his films in both a cost- and time-efficient manner. Despite those scores being composed with pressures of time, his Assault on Precinct 13 and Halloween themes would go on to be some of the most iconic in the genre.

His debut studio album, Lost Themes, was released in 2015 and demonstrated what he was able to accomplish without constraints.

"Lost Themes was all about having fun. It can be both great and bad to score over images, which is what I’m used to," Carpenter said of the album back in 2014. "Here there were no pressures. No actors asking me what they’re supposed to do. No crew waiting. No cutting room to go to. No release pending. It’s just fun. And I couldn’t have a better set-up at my house, where I depended on Cody and Daniel to bring me ideas as we began improvising. The plan was to make my music more complete and fuller, because we had unlimited tracks. I wasn’t dealing with just analog anymore. It’s a brand-new world. And there was nothing in any of our heads when we started other than to make it moody."

The project was a major success, resulting in the release of Lost Themes II in 2016, with Carpenter also going on multiple worldwide tours to perform the music.

Carpenter has previously confirmed that he will be crafting the scores for both Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends.

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