Gothic horror creeps up on you in “The Monk”

Gothic horror in "The Monk"A religious leader, thought to be the model of righteous living, molests a teenage girl and conspires to hide his despicable behavior. Sounds like the plot of a modern novel, right? Or something pulled from recent headlines. But, no, it’s the backbone of a Gothic novel written in 1794 by Matthew Lewis. Published two years later, in 1796, The Monk tells two interwoven stories about corruption and the abuse of authority. The Gothic horror element creeps up on you, though. Warning: the following post contains spoilers. Continue reading →

Top 15 British and American horror composers

Halloween poster, horror composersParanormal historian, writer and publisher Paul Adams has written a superb post for Spooky Isles on the top ten British composers of horror music. He includes three composers renown in classical music circles as well as a woman—a delight to see in a male-dominated profession. All ten composers hail from the twentieth century. Adams’ article includes sound selections so you can get a taste of each composer’s style. His list got me thinking about a similar list of American composers. So here are the two lists. Continue reading →

Susan Rogers talks about Prince and music

Susan Rogers at Loop 2017Susan Rogers is a remarkable person. After a successful career as a music engineer and producer, she retired from the industry, using royalties from producing the Barenaked Ladies to become a scientist. She earned a doctorate in psychology from McGill University, studying music cognition and psychoacoustics, and currently teaches at Berklee College of Music. Prince fans know her through her work during the period that produced a series of amazing, famous albums. The opportunity came about by chance when Prince hired her as his audio technician during the making of Purple Rain. She rapidly transitioned to become his engineer, effectively taking part in the creation of music by one of the most significant musicians in our lifetime. In an engaging interview at Loop 2017, she addresses wide-ranging topics about music. Continue reading →

What happened to our music habits?

Music habits by revenueIf you’re interested in what’s happened to our music habits over the past four to five decades, look at this graph from the the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It tells an interesting and sobering story about how technology has changed our habits. The graph represents music revenues in inflation-adjusted dollars between 1973 and 2018. This is the income that songwriters and recording artists receive from sales of their music. Record labels take the biggest chunk of this income, of course, but you can see how overall revenue has dwindled after its peak at the millennium. Continue reading →