MATRIXSYNTH: Galaxy of Terror (1981) - Barry Schrader and the Buchla 200

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Galaxy of Terror (1981) - Barry Schrader and the Buchla 200

via Barry Schrader
"Shout Factory has just released a remastered version of Galaxy of Terror (1981) as part of their Roger Corman collection on both blu-ray and regular DVD. I did the music for this movie entirely on the Buchla 200, with the exceptions of the use of a soprano voice and a sitar in a few places. (Michael Hoenig is credited as "performer: synthesizer" on this film, but I can assure you that I did 100% of the music myself. Michael's credit may refer to sound effects, however, which were done separately; I honestly don't know.) This was one of several films I scored in the 70s and 80s, and, perhaps, the most unusual. Working with the Buchla Electric Music Box for scoring a commercial film wasn't easy as there was no traditional keyboard, and as all of the music is multitracked, sometimes using as many as sixteen tracks mixed down to the final master. Of course, there was neither computer-control nor digital recording of anything in those days, and the fact that everything had to be done within a roughly three-week time span make working very difficult. There was no way that I could compose in the manner I was used to, which is rather slowly, as every day was a deadline for something. The music was composed in CalArts' studio B303, watching the work prints of the film on a 35mm moviola as I got them from the studio. The synth setup I used was essentially the same as for Lost Atlantis, with a large Buchla 200 system and the Fortune Modules. The film hasn't been available in the U.S. for many years, but, even so, it's achieved a sort of cult status, partially for some truly outrageous scenes which almost got the film an MPAA "X" rating. I've been asked several times about releasing the music from the film, but, of course, this is impossible for me to do: I don't own the music, and all of the original masters were delivered to the studio for transfer. When they were cleaning up the film for this new release, Shout Factory contacted me and I gave them all of the copies of cues that I had left, and, now, I have no copies of any music from this film. Perhaps that's best, though, as I never thought of any of the music I did for Galaxy of Terror as having much relevance away from the film. The new release includes a documentary on the making of Galaxy of Terror which has new interviews with myself and other cast and crew members."

Update: You can find Galaxy of Terror on Amazonand eBay.


  1. Terrible movie. Great movie poster! Unfortunately, the film is so forgettable, that it drags the soundtrack down into it's lost folds of obscurity ... possibly into another galaxy!

  2. I hear it's being released on vinyl now.


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