Bebe Barron

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Bebe Barron (born June 16, 1925 in Minneapolis , † April 20, 2008 in Los Angeles ; actually Charlotte May Wind ) was an American film composer and, with her husband Louis (1920–1989), pioneer of electronic music . In 1956 she composed the first completely electronic film music for Alarm im Weltall ( Forbidden Planet ).


Bebe married Louis Barron in 1947, who had studied music at the University of Chicago . They moved to New York City , where Louis' cousin, a manager at 3M , gave them a tape recorder as a wedding gift . They began using this and other devices to develop electronic music.

Heavenly Menagerie , recorded for the film Magnetic Tape , was the first American title to be recorded entirely electronically. Long before samplers and synthesizers were developed , recording electronic music was a difficult and lengthy undertaking; the tape had to be cut up and re-glued in order to put the generated sounds together into finished compositions.

Louis Barron had developed various electronic circuits that he could use to produce sound, including a ring modulator . However, the sounds produced were neither predictable nor reproducible, and the service life of the circuits was very short. Therefore, the Barrons recorded all of their sound experiments on tape. The scraps of sound produced in this way were then further alienated by various effects using tape recorders, for example by playing back faster or slower or adding echo effects and delay . The mixing was carried out with several tape recorders at the same time; for this purpose, two devices were manually synchronized and the result recorded on a third device.

Bebe Barron was the composer , she sorted the tapes and looked for usable material from her husband's sound experiments. She was among the first musicians to use an endless loop of a tape to create a basic rhythm.

Various other avant-garde musicians recorded in the Barrons studio , including John Cage .

Despite their divorce in 1970, Bebe and Louis Barron continued their artistic work until Louis' death in 1989. In 1997 they received the SEAMUS Lifetime Achievement Award .

Alarm in space

To make money from their music, the barrons turned to Hollywood . Fancy instruments such as the theremin have been used there for a long time . They initially worked as a sound engineer on various films in the 1950s, until they recorded the music for Alarm in Space in 1956 . Although the soundtrack from the audience was enthusiastically received and was a milestone in electronic music, they have not been recognized for her work as the union of American film music with the help of a lawyer had asserted that it was not about music, but only to electronic sounds IN QUESTION . Thus, they were not mentioned as composers, which would have been a prerequisite for an Oscar nomination. "Forbidden Planet OST" was included in The Wire's legendary wirelist "100 Records That Set The World On Fire (While No One Was Listening)" .

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