Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Victorianesque Hallowe'en: Music

First off, allow me to begin with an apology. Due to system issues, I was unable to post yesterday's piece. So here it is:
As we all know, a huge part of Hallowe'en is the music. Every good holiday and celebration deserves a soundtrack. There are many different approaches to, and reasons for, good music. Just as there are many different types of music we all enjoy this time of year.

There are the classics: Monster Mash, Thriller (yes, it's a classic in my opinion), Werewolves of London (A personal favourite), Black Magic Woman, Witchy Woman (Seeing a theme here?), I Put A Spell On You (again... Favourite), The Raven, Bad Moon Rising, I'm Your Boogie Man, Welcome to My Nightmare, Tocatta and Fugue, etc, ad infinitum. Then there are the newer classics, those wonderfully haunting bits of ambient music using the old sounds and familiar goosebump-inducing tones that we have all come to love. Nox Arcana and Midnight Syndicate rule the night in this category. At least for me and many who have shared their suggestions for good Hallowe'en mood music.
Now comes my favourite choice for a haunted Victorianesque soundtrack: Period pieces from classical to very early 20th century music, played low in the background and wafting through the house. Remember in a prior post when I spoke of the creepy old house at the end of the street or the edge of town. That old Victorian may have been built in the 1800s, but stood the test of time until the 20th century when through misfortune or neglect, it came to sit empty with only its memories. Like Rose Red and her fond memories of Pennsylvania 6-5000, the old haunted house recalls the days of old radio shows and the music hour in the evenings, of Victrolas spinning heavy, one-sided wax recordings. Something about the crackling strain of strings or singing lends a nostalgic air to the music.
Old blues, early big band, gospel, harpsicord, classical and opera make for wonderful background music, and even if you do not have a Victrola or old radio, playing your music low in a back area with hard walls or floors (tile, wood, etc), will guarantee to bounce the music through your haunted home at just the right level so as to give the impression that the house is humming a tune to itself or some discarnate spectre is listening to his or her favourite tunes without realization that anyone else is around.
If this idea appeals to you, try loading some songs to an iPod or other MP3 player then hooking it up to a small speaker or set of speakers, then aim them in opposite directions. Experiment with songs, sounds and locations.
And now I'm off to wake the dancing spectres in the back dining room and find out what they did with my records.
Please let me know what you come up with, and share ANY ideas for music that you use for your own haunted Victorianesque home.

1 comment:

  1. We have my Dads collection of records. Some jazz, some blues and classical. I wonder if I can find an old record player. Gonna keep my eyes out!