Oct 30, 2019
When the full moon starts to climb, we'll all sing out... it's time to talk about the best stop-motion animated Halloween/Christmas movie musical ever made! Hee hee hee hee heeee!
Tim Burton and Danny Elfman's maniacal miniature-musical The Nightmare Before Christmas was unusual when it came out in 1993 and, despite the fact that it went on to became a beloved Disney classic, is still unusual today. The centerpiece ensemble song "Making Christmas," during which the well-meaning but hopeless denizens of Halloween Town attempt to craft their own kind of creepy Christmas, is a crucial turning point for the film, both narratively and musically.
In this episode, Kirk takes a closer look at what makes "Making Christmas" tick, from its densely interwoven character motifs to its ever-shifting orchestration to its earth-shaking contrabass woodwinds.
Band/Artist: Danny Elfman and the Halloween Town Cast
Album: The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, 1993
Composed by: Danny Elfman
Update 10/31: After I published this episode on the 30th, several listeners wrote in to tell me about the Dies Irae, a 13th century Gregorian death chant that also shares the first four notes of the "Making Christmas" motif and has turned up in a TON of movies besides. I wasn't familiar with the Dies Irae (I know!), so I've updated the episode to include a mention of it. You'll have to redownload the episode if you want to hear that version. You can also watch a great Vox explainer video about the Dies Irae here: https://www.vox.com/videos/2019/9/16/20868789/creepy-melody-movies-catholic-chant-lion-king-shining - Kirk
NEW MUSIC VIDEO!
It's a multi-instrumental arrangement of the theme from the classic adventure game The Secret of Monkey Island, featuring both pennywhistle and normal whistle, among other instruments: https://youtu.be/zf7VQiu1MGo
To catch the next one, subscribe to Kirk's YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/kirkhamiltonmusic
OUTRO SOLOIST: Steve Pardo
This episode's outro soloist is the one and only Steve Pardo. Steve and Kirk met when they were both jazz saxophone students at the University of Miami; Steve currently lives and performs around the Nashville, TN area. He's a producer, composer, and does work in the world of video games, having spent several years at Harmonix, where he helped make music games like Rock Band and Dance Central. You can find out more at his website: https://www.stevepardo.com/
Sign up for Kirk's mailing list to start getting monthly-ish newsletters with music recommendations, links, news, and extra thoughts on new Strong Songs episodes: https://kirkhamilton.substack.com/subscribe
SUPPORT STRONG SONGS ON PATREON!
Thanks as always to everyone who supports Strong Songs on Patreon. If you want to support Kirk making this podcast, find out more here: https://Patreon.com/StrongSongs
OCTOBER 2019 WHOLE-NOTE PATRONS
OCTOBER 2019 HALF-NOTE PATRONS
Cyrus N. White
Elliot Jay O'Neill
John and Sharon Stenglein
Juan Carlos Montemayor Elosua
Nate from Kalamazoo