A few years back, we were invited by Stanley Pelkey and Anthony Bushard to contribute to a new book on music in television and film, Anxiety Muted: American Film Music in A Suburban Age (Oxford University Press, 2013). Tim and I had collaborated on smaller projects, but this was the first time that we co-authored a large chapter. We had watched the 1960s psychedelic spy-show The Prisoner together a couple of times and were fascinated by the way that it wove music--diegetic (music coming from inside the scene itself) and non-diegetic (music that only the viewer hears)--around the twists and turns of its plot.
We were thrilled when we saw the other chapters in the book and honored that we were chosen to contribute. The chapters intersect so well that it has already been used as part of a class developed by Anthony Bushard.
And we found out from one of the authors this week that the book was given a detailed review by Jamuna Samuel in the latest edition (March 2016) of the Music Library Association’s journal Notes. Each chapter was meticulously overviewed. Here’s a bit from our part:
Joanna Smolko and Tim Smolko’s writing on British television spy series The Prisoner (1967–68) addresses the use of American music to trigger British and American political concerns of the time. Within the larger picture of the Cold War-era spy genre, The Prisoner’s music owes much to the “Bond formula” (p. 149). “In the larger cultural view,” they write, “it appears that within this British drama, America itself—as represented through music—is a potent symbol of rebellion, anarchy, and hope (p. 151).
Go read the review if you have chance. Or even better, read the book. The chapters provide a kaleidoscopic view of music’s role in television and film in the 1950s-1960s. Then watch The Prisoner. It will blow your mind.
Be seeing you.
Joanna & Tim
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