Navigation Menu

1984 interview with Elmer Bernstein

In 1984, just as Ghostbusters was going into theaters, Randall D. Larson sat down to talk about movies and music with Elmer Bernstein, the lucky duck. And how luck for us that it just got reprinted today on Cinescape’s website.

Q: As a composer, what’s your feeling about scoring these kinds of way-out movies?

Bernstein: It’s a composer’s holiday, because it gives you such a wide range of things you can do and experiment with. For instance, in Ghostbusters I had an opportunity, because of the nature of the score, to employ an instrument that Yamaha makes, called the DX-7, which is a very useful synthesizer. and I used three of them. I also used a French instrument called the Ondes Martenot, which very few people play – as a matter of fact I had to import a player from England to play the instrument. It gave me an opportunity to do things of that sort.

There’s some great info for anyone interested in movie scores and a LOT of information about Ghostbusters – Bernstein talks a lot about his dislike of Rock in soundtracks, which parts in the movie he didn’t like, and even comments on the similarity of Ray Parker Jr’s theme to Huey Lewis! For those who are curious, a Ondes Martenot is very similar to the Theremin and is what produces that eerie, ghostly noise throughout the soundtrack.

Read the whole interview here.

| credit The Liverstealer