John Carpenter Scoring 2018 ‘Halloween’ With Help from a Black Cat

John Carpenter, director of the original Halloween (and They Live and The Thing etc. etc. etc.), is more involved with 2018’s Halloweendespite the name, a sequel to the 1978 original—than he’s been with the franchise since 1982’s crackpot treasure, Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Directed by David Gordon Green (Vice Principals, Your Highness), Carpenter was originally announced as the executive producer and creative consultant, but it was soon rumored he would also compose his first film score since 2001’s Ghost of Mars for the new slasher. This was confirmed in April.

Now, thanks to tweets from Carpenter and his wife Sandy King Carpenter, we have a first look into the scoring process, which seems to depend most upon their black cat, frequently described as “the fifth Beatle.”

The first picture was posted last week by Sandy King Carpenter:

Yes, I’ve done my best to zoom into the visible sheet of paper and was able to read several lines, including “The Thing,” “Big Trouble in Little China,” “They Live” and “Assault,” presumably referencing another one of Carpenter’s movies, Assault on Precinct 13. It’s nothing to do with 2018’s Halloween and could instead be a set list from his 2017 musical tour.

John_Carpenter_Live_2016 John Carpenter performing the "Assault on Precinct 13" theme live in 2016. courtesy David from England CC BY 2.0

Another picture reveals Carpenter’s love of Godzilla, guitars and slacking:

But it was John retweeting Sandy’s photo Thursday night that brought the most attention to the in-progress Halloween composing.

Other than an adorable black cat, the photos from Carpenter’s music space most suggest how much the Halloween score has become a family project, with one of the photos credited to their son, Cody, a musician who often plays with his father.

The two collaborated on 2015’s Lost Themes and 2016’s Lost Themes II, albums on which Carpenter explored sounds similar to his 80’s movie soundtracks, which he described as allowing him a space to improvise “moody” music without the constraints of scoring over images and acting. The two albums sound like vintage Carpenter and are probably the best places to start for anyone curious how his Halloween soundtrack will sound before the movie’s Oct. 19 release date.

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