Twilight Zone

Bernard Herrmann and Jerry Goldsmith in The Twilight Zone

Featuring: William V. Malpede, Josh Lucan, Marc Zicree, and Reuven Herman

Study leaders William V. Malpede and Josh Lucan, along with ASA Vice-President Reuven Herman, take us on a deep dive into two episodes from the iconic television series THE TWILIGHT ZONE, each scored by a legend in film music: “Eye of the Beholder” (1960) by Bernard Herrmann and “The Invaders” (1961) by Jerry Goldsmith. We’ll also be joined by Marc Zicree, veteran television producer and writer, a member of our Advisory Board, and the author of The Twilight Zone Companion.

Goldsmith and Herrmann each wrote numerous episodes of The Twilight Zone, and these two iconic episodes are particular masterclasses in scoring for small orchestral ensembles using minimalistic compositional techniques.

“The Eye of the Beholder” is a dark and compelling tale about one woman’s desperate desire to conform within a dystopian society. With a surprise twist in the plot, the episode contains both beauty and a sinister chill from Herrmann’s minimalistic score featuring 2 vibraphones and 2 harps, backed by brooding and climactic brass and percussion punctuations.

“The Invaders” is also famous for its twist ending, and is unique for its complete lack of dialogue. Goldsmith’s music becomes a central player along with actress Agnes Moorehead non-speaking performance. Composing under the budgetary constraints of 60’s television, Goldsmith’s ensemble consisted of approximately thirteen string players, piano, celeste, harp, vibraphone, marimba, chimes, and the Novachord. In an early example of his atonal writing technique, Goldsmith focuses on minor seconds and tritones to convey the horror unfolding on screen. This score also demonstrates Goldsmith’s penchant for using unusual instrument combinations as well as cutting edge electronics to achieve novel timbres in the sci-fi and horror genres.


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