Art, Tracklist, Date: John Carpenter’s Highly Anticipated “LOST THEMES”

John Carpenter is a master, both of cinema and of the score. His themes are iconic and endlessly influential, hallmarks and originators of a beloved style of composing as well as catchy as all hell (ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 practically loops in many of our heads). It was understandable then when admirers across fandoms and professions (fans, filmmakers, musicians) lit up upon the news of an impending new album from the artist. Entitled LOST THEMES, and arriving this winter from Sacred Bones Records, the album was described as tracks composed by Carpenter without any films in mind and the news of which was accompanied by stellar song “Vortex” and a collage video set to Carpenter clips. Following a weekend to digest and groove comes the full details on LOST THEMES. 

LOST THEMES is out February 3, 2015 on Sacred Bones and Carpenter says it “…was all about having fun. It can be both great and bad to score over images, which is what I’m used to. Here there were no pressures. No actors asking me what they’re supposed to do. No crew waiting. No cutting room to go to. No release pending. It’s just fun. And I couldn’t have a better set-up at my house, where I depended on (collaborators) Cody (Carpenter, of the band Ludrium) and Daniel (Davies, who scored I, FRANKENSTEIN) to bring me ideas as we began improvising. The plan was to make my music more complete and fuller, because we had unlimited tracks. I wasn’t dealing with just analogue anymore. It’s a brand new world. And there was nothing in any of our heads when we started other than to make it moody.”

The press release continues:

As is Carpenter’s style, repetition is the key to the thundering power of these tracks, their energy swirling with shredding chords, soaring organs, unnerving pianos and captivating percussion. Singularly titled to inspire dread with such names as “Vortex,” “Dominion,” “Abyss,” and “Purgatory,” but all linked into a unified whole, Lost Themes has a mesmerizing power. Horror fans will be reminded of Carpenter’s past works, as well as ancestors like Mike Oldfeld’s Tubular Bells and the raging guitars and chiming percussion of Goblin’s Suspiria. “’Both classical music and rock and roll are part of my musical language, which is riff-driven,” Carpenter explains. “So if you listen carefully, I’m sure you can hear some echoes from my past. But I’m sure that’s true of any composer. You just bring your music along with you.”

These Lost Themes will doubtlessly inspire listeners to materialize their own eerily atmospheric dimensions, musical lands inspired by John Carpenter’s motifs, even as the composer-director looks ahead with excitement towards brave new musical worlds he can explore. “The best way I can describe what we’ve done is that it’s a ‘soundtrack sampler,’ which is what Cody calls it. They’re little moments of score from movies made in our imaginations. Now I hope it inspires people to create films that could be scored with this music.”

You can see the LOST THEMES cover art above, and find its tracklisting and a Souncloud of “Vortex” below. If you haven’t seen the accompanying “Vortex” video, head to Sacred Bones Records where it loops in custom fashion. Jesse von Doom, the creator of the “Vortex” video loop says, “The page takes a bunch of scenes from various John Carpenter films and turns them into a unique video each visit. It was built along with CASH Music, a nonprofit that builds free and open technology for musicians. We start with a list of favorite clips, pull them in a random order, then vary the length of each edit to bring a more unique feel to each visit. Watch long enough and you’ll see the best Kurt Russell movie never made.”


  1. Vortex
  2. Obsidian
  3. Fallen
  4. Domain
  5. Mystery
  6. Abyss
  7. Wraith
  8. Purgatory
  9. Night

Related Articles
About the author
Samuel Zimmerman
Fangoria.com Managing Editor Samuel Zimmerman has been at FANGORIA since 2009, where fresh out of the Purchase College Cinema Studies program, he began as an editorial assistant. Since, he’s honed both his writing and karaoke skills and been trusted with the responsibility of jury duty at Austin’s incredible Fantastic Fest. Zimmerman lives in and hails from The Bronx, New York where his pants are too tight and he’ll watch anything with witches.
Back to Top