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Soundtrack from ‘Twin Peaks’ Week – Day 4: Laura Palmer’s Secret Mix Tape

To celebrate the recent release of our 33 1/3 on Angelo Badalamenti’s Soundtrack from Twin Peaks, we’re pleased to bring you the 4th installment of Soundtrack from Twin Peaks Week by author Clare Nina Norelli!

Whilst I was writing my 33 1/3 book on Angelo Badalamenti’s Music from Twin Peaks I did everything I could think of to fully immerse myself in the world of Twin Peaks. I re-watched all the episodes as well as the feature film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, pausing and replaying scenes over and over in order to analyze their use of music; I explored Angelo Badalamenti’s diverse back catalogue; I read books such as Brad Duke’s Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks, David Lynch’s Catching the Big Fish, and sound theorist Michel Chion’s book on the director, David Lynch. I also found myself re-reading my old weathered copy of Jennifer Lynch’s The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer.

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Lynch wrote the book, which takes the form of diary entries written by the hand of Laura Palmer, when she was only 22 years old. Barely out of her teen years herself, Lynch captures brilliantly the experience of being a teenage girl, albeit one who is abused and emotionally disturbed because of this abuse. Laura Palmer (along with Audrey Horne) was the Twin Peaks character that most resonated with me whilst watching the show as a teenager. I found her fascinating and otherworldly, and The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer allowed for me to delve deeper into Laura’s secret life. Reading the book proved disturbing, exciting, unflinchingly honest, and beautiful, all at once. Revisiting it all these years later I still found it to be just as engrossing and enjoyable—as enjoyable as one can find such an overwhelmingly sad story anyway.

In several of her diary entries Laura writes of dancing to music. For Laura, dancing to music is a means of escape, a way to turn off her mind and transcend the pain of her day-to-day existence. In the entry dated October 12, 1985, she writes: “We could hear a little bit of music coming out of the Road House, and I just had to get up and dance a little. I felt better than I had in ages, just floating in the night air and feeling warm inside.”

In Fire Walk With Me Laura is shown dancing in a club to the song “The Pink Room,” a guitar-driven bluesy drone composed by David Lynch. She is also mesmerized and moved to tears by Julee Cruise’s performance of “Questions in a World of Blue” at the Roadhouse. In the show, we hear a record of the singer’s “Into the Night” playing in Jacques Renault’s cabin where Laura spent her last night alive. I found myself wondering, especially after writing my post for Day One, what other music might Laura have listened to? What if, amongst all the other items that were confiscated from her room by Agent Cooper and Sheriff Truman during their investigation into her murder, there happened to be a mix tape of some of her favorite songs?

Laura Palmer died on February 24,1989. With that date in mind, here’s an imagined mixtape made by the late, mysterious Laura Palmer.

 

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4 comments

  1. Pingback: Listen In On A Laura Palmer Secret Mixtape « Movie City News

  2. Pingback: Twin Peaks week on the 33 1/3 blog – cinema and song

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