‘The all-purpose folk music of your mind’: A conversation with Gary Carpenter

Gary Carpenter had just left the Royal College of Music when he was approached to work alongside Paul Giovanni to create and record music for The Wicker Man. Initially released in 1973, the subtle and intriguing film, set upon the fictional Hebridean island of Summerisle, felt both distinctly British and somewhat other-wordly, given the pagan antics of the island’s inhabitants and the mystical qualities of the acting, production and musical score.

Enlisted to arrange and conduct for Giovanni, Carpenter also assembled the core band heard on and featuring in the film, played several specialist instruments and wrote some of the film’s incidental music; which when combined with Giovanni’s particular style of contemporary folk songwriting and recorded in well equipped studios with forward-thinking techniques, made for one of the finest and most ‘natural’ sounding film soundtracks ever created.

Gary kindly agreed to discuss the film with our digital content editor ahead of our screening on the Director’s cut on 7th February 2017. Listen to the conversation below and stream the soundtrack via Spotify.

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Tuesday | 07.02.17

Film: The Wicker Man

Band on the Wall, Manchester