Henry’ – An Alternate Soundtrack To David Lynch’s Eraserhead

papawise house & techno on March 18th, 2019 / post 73217

Mike Langlie (aka Cat Temper) has released an alternate electronic soundtrack to the David Lynch avant garde film classic Eraserhead.

Henry, named after the main character of the film, is a 90-minute album that’s designed to be played in combination with the DVD of Eraserhead, allowing viewers to experience the cult film in a new way.

Here’s what Langlie has to say about Henry:

David Lynch’s 1977 movie Eraserhead has fascinated me ever since it blew my teenage mind years ago. I’ve seen the film many times (especially while making this album) and it continues to offer new details and questions. Despite becoming so familiar with its beats, textures, moods and moments, the more I watch it the less I feel I have a grasp on its meaning and mysteries.

The stylized staging and character behaviors (not to mention the baby character itself) may seem alien to audiences unprepared for a surreal nightmare of mostly unremarkable events. However Lynch’s ability to conjure a tangible and haunting world with minimal sets and special effects is undeniably impressive. It’s amazing to think that his first feature film, made as a student with money from his newspaper delivery job, is so fully realized and expresses such a unique vision and voice. It elevated him to auteur status and is ripe with themes and visual symbols that appear in many of his films to follow.

The sound design by Lynch and Alan Splet is an atmospheric industrial audio collage. It defines the film’s claustrophobic spaces as much as do any of the shadowy visuals. It’s long been one of my favorite works of audio art. With this in mind I humbly offer my own alternate soundtrack, named after Eraserhead’s protagonist. It’s admittedly heavy-handed and over-reaches as a simultaneous musical score and sound effects track. But hopefully it’s interesting for people who are open to experiencing movies in a new way.

Something I often hear about challenging films like Eraserhead is that slow pacing and unconventional acting can be uncomfortable obstacles to becoming absorbed in a story. A goal of my reimagined soundtrack is to help hook viewers through a more accessible musical palette. I frame scenes in a music video format and offer my own interpretations of characters’ inner thoughts and interactions.

If this album inspires anyone to approach Eraserhead with fresh eyes (and ears) then I’ll consider my experiment to be a success.

You can preview the soundtrack below. It’s available at Bandcamp
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