For the past three years, we've looked forward to musician, visual artist, and Stevenson University professor Terrence Hannum's spooky Halloween/horror-themed podcast "Dead Air" like Cantonites awaiting their first pumpkin spice latte. Unlike most blabby podcasts, Hannum, a lifelong horror fan, just lets the music do the talking. This year's hand-picked theme music goes from the obscure, such as "CUBS," about a wandering Boy Scout troop, to the mainstream such as Mike Oldfield's classic music from "The Exorcist" (though Hannum picked the track 'Georgetown' instead of the ubiquitous theme song, 'Tubular Bells').
We caught up with Hannum on Facebook for a quick chat about his annual scarefest.
City Paper: How do you choose the tracks for this year's "Dead Air"?
Terence Hannum: I tend to think about what I like, what catches my ear. I try and balance out newer films like "It Follows" with older films like "Carnival of Souls." I also like to use more mainstream things like "The Exorcist" next to more obscure things like "C.H.U.D.," which ironically was composed by members of Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark.
CP: How long does it take you to edit and put together?
TH: I start in the summer, just finding soundtracks I like. I am always on the hunt for certain things, it took me a while to find "Last House on Dead End Street" or I'll see a film and pay more attention to the score than the film, like "Beyond the Black Rainbow." Once I have an hour or so of tunes, I just start organizing them and thinking about what flows best. Then my producer Aaron Harris at Stevenson and I take an afternoon and have a blast just playing the tracks and recording my voice overs.
CP: Why horror?
TH: I spent much of my youth in video rental shops picking out the most exciting covers of horror films. Typically the ones with the best, goriest covers would not be the best movies but would have these compelling scores that used synthesizers and weird tape manipulations. I was hooked, I would say I wouldn't want to play synthesizers if it weren't for their use (overuse?) in horror films by people like John Carpenter, Goblin, and Fabio Frizzi. I mean the soundtrack to the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is the best industrial album never released.