Watch the Twin Peaks Visual Soundtrack Released Only in Japan: A New Way to Experience David Lynch’s Classic Show

Crit­ics describe David Lynch’s most mem­o­rable imagery as not just deeply trou­bling but deeply Amer­i­can. Despite that — or maybe because of it — his films have found enthu­si­as­tic audi­ences all over the world. But does Lynch com­mand quite as fer­vent a fan base in any coun­try as he does in Japan? Unlike­ly though the cul­tur­al match of cre­ator and view­er may seem, Lynch’s work tends to make big splash­es in the Land of the Ris­ing Sun, and Twin Peaks, the ground­break­ing­ly strange tele­vi­sion dra­ma Lynch co-cre­at­ed with Mark Frost, made an espe­cial­ly big one. Stand­ing as evi­dence is the Twin Peaks mate­r­i­al made for the Japan­ese and no one else: the Lynch-direct­ed Twin Peaks Geor­gia Cof­fee com­mer­cials, for instance, or the Twin Peaks Visu­al Sound­track on Laserdisc.

“What must the thir­ty-five mil­lion peo­ple who tuned in to the pilot episode of Twin Peaks in April 1990 have thought when they first wit­nessed the show’s open­ing cred­its?” writes musi­cian Claire Nina Norel­li in her book on Twin Peaks’ sound­track. “This haunt­ing music, cou­pled with images of rur­al ter­rain and indus­tri­al­iza­tion, must have belied audi­ences’ expec­ta­tions.”

That holds as true for audi­ences out­side Amer­i­ca as inside it: Norel­li, who first saw the show in her “small, iso­lat­ed home­town” of Perth, Aus­tralia, writes that “what real­ly cap­tured my atten­tion dur­ing what would be the first of many for­ays into the world of Twin Peaks was its sound­track, com­posed by Ange­lo Badala­men­ti.”

The Twin Peaks Visu­al Sound­track, which you can watch on Youtube, takes Badala­men­ti’s sound­track (which Norel­li cred­its with “strength­en­ing the visu­al lan­guage” of the show, no mean feat giv­en the innate strength of Lynch’s visions) and accom­pa­nies it with footage of the small town of Twin Peaks and its envi­rons — or rather, footage of the loca­tions around Wash­ing­ton state that Lynch and com­pa­ny used to craft the small town of Twin Peaks and its envi­rons. Matt Humphrey of the Twin Peaks Pod­cast high­lights the track “Lau­ra Palmer’s Theme,” whose video “explores the train grave­yard where they filmed the exte­ri­ors of Lau­ra’s death loca­tion. Now, in the series, the inte­ri­ors of the train were built on sets. In this video you can see the actu­al inte­ri­or of the old trains. It’s pret­ty cool/gross.”

“From what I can tell,” Humphrey writes, “these Visu­al Sound­track videos were tak­en in maybe 1992 by a Japan­ese film crew.” In some shots, he adds, “you can see the towns­folk star­ing.” Oth­er shots bear traces of Twin Peaks’ pop­u­lar­i­ty: “The Dou­ble R din­er is already sport­ing the ‘Twin Peaks Cher­ry Pie’ sign, so I think it’s after the series’ run. How­ev­er the town of North Bend is still in full Twin Peaks pro­mo­tion­al mode as you can see some gift shops in the videos sell­ing all sorts of mem­o­ra­bil­ia.” But Twin Peaks fans will espe­cial­ly enjoy the open­ing of the Visu­al Sound­track, a CGI fly-through of the epony­mous town com­plete with the afore­men­tioned din­er (cof­fee and cher­ry pie not includ­ed in the ren­der­ing), the Twin Peaks Sher­if­f’s Depart­ment, and a log­ging truck. See­ing how it all com­pares to Lynch’s hand-drawn map from when he first pitched the show to ABC will be left as an exer­cise for the true fan.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

David Lynch’s Twin Peaks Title Sequence, Recre­at­ed in an Adorable Paper Ani­ma­tion

Ange­lo Badala­men­ti Reveals How He and David Lynch Com­posed the Twin Peaks‘ “Love Theme”

Exper­i­men­tal Post-Punk Band Xiu Xiu Plays the Music from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks

David Lynch Directs a Mini-Sea­son of Twin Peaks in the Form of Japan­ese Cof­fee Com­mer­cials

Japan­ese Movie Posters of 10 David Lynch Films

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.