TV

The hidden secret in Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks theme

Queen Elizabeth II turned down a private Paul McCartney show to watch …

Tributes have been pouring in for composer Angelo Badalamenti, who has died at the age of 85.

Badalamenti was perhaps best known for writing the music for the hugely influential 90s drama Twin Peaks.

Badalamenti also composed a number of scores for other David Lynch films, including Blue Velvet (1986) and Mulholland Drive (2001) and worked with the likes of Nina Simone, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Shirley Bassey, Marianne Faithfull, Liza Minnelli, Pet Shop Boys and LL Cool J.

People have been reflecting on his career after the news was confirmed by his family, and one unexpected story from his early days working on Twin Peaks has resurfaced.

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Badalamenti previously spoke about how the theme for the series was written in the 2007 documentary Secrets From Another Place: Creating Twin Peaks.

Angelo Badalamenti explains how he wrote Laura Palmer's Themewww.youtube.com

He described how he wrote ‘Laura Palmer’s Theme’ with David Lynch beside him at the electric piano before the series began shooting in 1989.

The composer recalled how Lynch said to him at the time: “Okay, Angelo, we’re in the dark woods now. And there’s a soft wind blowing through some sycamore trees. And there’s a moon out and there’s some animal sounds in the background, and you can hear the hoot of an owl.”

The piece then went on to become the theme often repeated in the series. However, there was something stranger at work, which Badalamenti didn’t realise at the time.

Speaking to Vulture, Lynch’s music supervisor previously revealed that he noticed a hidden secret in the music’s MIDI notation.

The piece’s MIDI notation, which is used to map out music on electronic musical instruments and computers, actually came to resemble two rising and falling peaks.

“The MIDI notation of ‘Laura Palmer’s Theme,’ you look at it and you’re like, ‘What’s this a picture of?’” he said. “You look at it and it’s actually … Twin Peaks. F***ing eerie.”

Badalamenti didn’t realise it at the time, but the song he was writing actually came to resemble the very thing Lynch had been describing.

Hurley went on to explain that Badalamenti was shocked to discover the secret.

“I showed David the photo and I was like, ‘What does this look like to you?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, twin peaks. What about it?’” Hurley said. “And I told him what it was, and he just started shouting, ‘It’s cosmic! It’s cosmic! It’s cosmic!’ and then he was like, ‘That would make a great T-shirt.’ And then I sent it to Angelo, and Angelo was just like, ‘Whoa … this is scary … but very cool!”

“When I originally saw this it was like, ‘Man, this really speaks to what’s going on here,’” Hurley added. “It’s ethereal, it’s spiritual, it is cosmic. The whole show and the whole concept is literally in the DNA of the music that was written before it was even filmed.”

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