When you think of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, music may not be the very first element to pop into your head. But like many horror films, the soundtrack is a crucial component of creating the atmosphere of dread throughout the movie.
It probably isn’t shocking to know Kubrick was difficult to work with, and this extended to the people he hired to compose his soundtracks. He had Alex North compose a score for 2001: A Space Odyssey only to use the temp music instead. Unfortunately, trans composer Wendy Carlos and collaborator Rachel Elkind created a soundtrack for The Shining that suffered a similar fate save for two songs: “Main Title” and “Rocky Mountains”.
If you DO think of music when you think of The Shining, you probably think of the “Main Title” Carlos and Elkind worked on which is featured in the iconic opening credits:
The main title samples “Songe D’une Nuit De Sabbat (Dreams of a Witches’ Sabbath)”, and this website has a great breakdown of songs that have sampled it including a Three 8 Mafia album intro.
Another one of the songs Carlos & Elkind created titled “Clockworks (Bloody Elevators)” can at least be heard in this teaser trailer for the film:
Unfortunately Carlos is extremely protective of her work, so to hear the full unused soundtrack you have to purchase an honest-to-goodness CDs titled Rediscovering Lost Scores, Vol. 1 and Rediscovering Lost Scores, Vol. 2. They are currently available on Amazon for about a thousand dollars each if you are so inclined.
You can however hear samples of each unused song here and here.
And you can watch a short video on Wendy Carlos here:
Hopefully one day we will get a digital release of the entire soundtrack, but till then we can dream.