A Free Excerpt from Horror Addicts Guide to Life 2 by Mark Orr

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You can read my piece in this book about how I think Jane Austen might have understood Horror Addicts! But I’d like to share a free excerpt from Horror Addicts Guide to Life 2 from one of the other authors.

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Music Hath Charms to Soothe the Savage Beast

by Mark Orr

 

Yes, I am a Baby Boomer, a member of that much-maligned—fairly or unfairly—generation that for all its flaws did indeed spawn the best popular music of the past century. And, yes, I grew up a fan of, among others, The Beatles, the band whose massive output of incredible music in the space of less than a decade was not only the ne plus ultra of its time but the sine qua non of all popular music since. But they and the rest of the 1960s artists were not my first musical love.

That would be classical music. Before the Fab Four showed up on the Ed Sullivan Show on that momentous night in February of 1964, I had already begun to sample my father’s record collection. I still love classical music. It occupies a significant portion of my listening time. I don’t know squat about music theory, but I know what I like. And in the years since I discovered the wonders on those ancient LPs, most of which are now in my possession, new discoveries of what I like have regularly occurred with delightful frequency. 

I think I must have been about thirteen or fourteen when I first encountered the work of Camille Saint-Saëns, or, rather, a portion of one of his works. A radio station in or near Nashville began to broadcast episodes of The Shadow radio show from the late 1930s, the ones starring Orson Welles. The theme music was eerie and compelling, drawing the listener into the outré adventures of, “He who had the power to cloud men’s minds.” No one I knew could tell me what that strange tune was. Fortunately, this was in the early years of a new cultural phenomenon, nostalgia, and every trip to the bookstore revealed a new volume on some aspect of the cultural ephemera of past decades, including radio. 

I think it was in a paperback edition of Jim Harmon’s 1967 book, The Great Radio Heroes, that I learned the provenance of that snippet of strange music. It turned out to be the middle section of a symphonic poem by Saint-Saëns, Omphale’s Spinning Wheel. Once I knew that, I searched for more music by this new composer I’d discovered.

Skip years, indeed, decades ahead, and I’d just settled myself into my favorite spot on the couch to watch the first episode of Ratched, a Netflix production. For some reason, the subtitle function was turned on, which was fine. I watch a lot of films in languages I don’t understand and I heartily despise dubbing. As the second episode streamed on, I immediately recognized the music playing, although the first bit of it had been lopped. And then the subtitles said, “Haunting Classical Music?”

 Haunting classical music?!? Does no one at Netflix’s closed-captioning department have access to a decent music library? This piece has a name, a title that has been well-known for one hundred and forty-six years. Is it all that much trouble to identify a major piece of music by its actual name?

It was Saint-Saëns’ 1874 tone poem “Danse Macabre”—a piece I play heavily around Halloween, for its spooky and creepy factor as it’s laden with dire forebodings. 

To read more, go to: https:/www.amazon.com/dp/B09YNF5QM3

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Do you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle? Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre? Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is your guide to living a horror addict’s life.

Our month-by-month almanac with important dates, movie lists, puzzles, crafts, articles, and recipes will guarantee your whole year is occupied with delightful horror activities. Don’t miss our monster guide with articles about vampires, zombies, ghosts, and some creatures that just can’t be categorized. Enjoy interviews with creators of horror content and hear perspectives from different cultures and backgrounds. Read stories of real hauntings, nightmares, and vile vacations.

Allow us to curate your horror lifestyle.

With articles by: A. Craig Newman, A.D. Vick, Alyson Faye, Angela Yuriko Smith, Brian McKinley, CM Lucas, Camellia Rains, Carrie Sessarego, Chantal Boudreau, Courtney Mroch, Crystal Connor, D.J. Pitsiladis, Dan Shaurette, Daphne Strasert, Dee Blake, Emerian Rich, Emmy Z. Madrigal, Geneve Flynn, H.E. Roulo, H.R. Boldwood, J. Malcolm Stewart, James Goodridge, Jaq D Hawkins, Jeff Carroll, Jonathan Fortin, Kate Nox, Kay Tracy, Kerry Alan Denney, Kieran Judge, Kristin Battestella, Ksenia Murray, Lee Murray, Lionel Ray Green, Loren Rhoads, M.D. Neu, Mark Orr, Martha J. Allard, Michael Fassbender, Mimielle, Naching T. Kassa, Pamela K. Kinney, Priscilla Bettis, R.J. Joseph, R.L. Merrill, Rena Mason, Renata Pavrey, Rhonda R. Carpenter, Russell Holbrook, Selah Janel, Steven P. Unger, Sumiko Saulson, Tabitha Thompson, Theresa Braun, Trinity Adler, Valjeanne Jeffers.

Available now at: Amazon.com

 

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One thought on “A Free Excerpt from Horror Addicts Guide to Life 2 by Mark Orr

  1. Priscilla Bettis July 31, 2022 at 1:31 pm Reply

    Good excerpt! Classical music is rich in expression and has many examples of dark, horror-ific compositions.

    Like

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