How a Spy Changed the Sound of Horror Movies

From Origin Of Everything.

You may not know their names, but the theremin and the wilhelm scream are ubiquitous in horror films. Today, Danielle and special guest Dr. Emily Zarka tell the spooky tales of how these iconic sounds ended up in your favorite movies!

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Created and Hosted by Danielle Bainbridge
Produced by Complexly for PBS Digital Studios
Written by Beth McArthur

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Origin of Everything is a show about the undertold histories and cultural dialogues that make up our collective story. From the food we eat, to the trivia and fun facts we can’t seem to get out of our heads, to the social issues we can’t stop debating, everything around us has a history. Origin of Everything is here to explore it all. We like to think that no topic is too small or too challenging to get started.

Works Cited:
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Glinsky, Albert. Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage. University of Illinois Press, 2000.

Grimes, William. “Leon Theremin, Musical Inventor, Is Dead at 97.” The New York Times. Nov. 9, 1993. Accessed April 19, 2019.

Hutchinson, Sean. “What is the Wilhelm Scream?” Mental Floss. August 16, 2018. Accessed May 1, 2019. “Feature Film, Rating Count at least 2,000, Wilhelm-Scream (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)”,&title_type=feature&. Accessed April 19, 2019.

Mattis, Olivia. “An Interview with Leon Theremin.” October 4, 2002. Accessed May 4, 2019.

Moog, Bob. “In Clara’s Words.” Art, Technology, Gesture.” October 26, 2002. Accessed May 3, 2019.

Mott, Robert L., Sound Effects: Radio, Television and Film. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2014.

Nadia Reisenberg & Clara Rockmore Foundation, “Clara Rockmore: Biography.” Accessed May 3, 2019.

National Security Administration. “National Cryptologic Museum Exhibit Information: Cold War: Great Seal.” Accessed April 19, 2019.

NekiTamoL1K. “Every Wilhelm Scream in Star Wars (1-VII)” Published Aug 8, 2016. Accessed April 19, 2019.

Pinch, Trevor. Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer /. Edited by Trocco, Frank., Harvard University Press, 2002.

Raskin, David. “David Raksin Remembers his Colleagues: Miklós Rózsa,” American Composers.Org. Published 1995. Accessed May 6, 2019.

Sandell, Clayton. “Famous ‘Wilhelm Scream’ Goes Silent in ‘Star Wars’ Galaxy.” February 21, 2018. Accessed May 3, 2019. “Songs that Use a Theremin.” Accessed May 3, 2019.

Star Wars Minute, “History of the Wilhelm Scream.” Published Jul 29, 2015. Accessed April 19, 2019. “Stock Scream.” Accessed May 3, 2019.

Whittington, William (William Brian). Sound Design & Science Fiction /. 1st ed., University of Texas Press, 2007.