Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: ‘Lost’ Tunes Edition

presspasslostIt’s over. But I can still hear it playing in my head.

Three days after the series finale of “Lost,” the lonely notes of an unseen piano, slowly play in time with the fading rhythm of Jack Shephard’s heart, until, at last, there falls one final, tear-inducing note.

presspasslost

THE SERIES FINALES of “Lost” premiered Monday. (Photo: ABC Mario Perez)

 

It’s over. But I can still hear it playing in my head.

Three days after the series finale of “Lost,” the lonely notes of an unseen piano, slowly play in time with the fading rhythm of Jack Shephard’s heart, until, at last, there falls one final, tear-inducing note. It was the same sad vibrating piano strings that accompanied many of the series’ “it’s really dusty in here” moments, and one that will leave an unending echo in my ear whenever I think of the final shot.

The original music of composer Michael Giacchino may not have varied much from the start of the series to the end, but because of that, some of those strains became synonymous with certain scenes. In addition to the aforementioned, last-goodbye lullaby, there is the triplet-rich trekking across the island theme, the ascending anthem that accompanies the characters’ few triumphs (like launching the raft in Season  One) and the ponderous bowed strings that spring up as characters often take stock of their life on the scenic shores of the island. Last but not least, there is the revelatory sound of trombones sliding down the scale. That blast accompanies the show’s signature cliffhanger endings, capped by the staccato sound that punctuates the sudden appearance of the white LOST at show’s end. (Apparently the final percussive noise is made by a gong and super-ball combo.)

While my descriptions do them little justice, I’m sure many of the show’s faithful followers recognize them all. And like the final fates of Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Kate and Co., those sounds will be burned into their memories for a long, long time. And well they should.

Music has played a very large part in the cult-smash series. In addition to Giacchino’s score, pop music — piped in over montages via Hurley’s discman, The Hatch’s record player or added as background music during scenes — served as a thematic accompaniment throughout the show’s run. In fact, the third episode, titled “Tabula Rasa,” ended to the strumming of Joe Purdy and his tune “Wash Away.” (It also introduced Press Pass to Purdy, who has since become one of my favorite songwriters.) Not only did the song become closely tied to the show, but it also set the stage for the close relationship pop music had with the show’s main moral, as it was presented to us in Sunday’s finale.

The characters of “Lost” were given a second lease on life after crashing on the island. Just as the aforementioned episode title suggests, the slates were wiped clean. But from that point forward, their actions mattered. Their interactions mattered. And ultimately they were redeemed by those they grew closest to on the island. When they finally came to terms with their lives, they were allowed to move on to, presumably, a happy afterlife. Given the show’s finale revealed the series’ purpose was to prep their characters for departing their mortal coils, perhaps it’s no coincidence that the first pop song played in the series Patsy Cline’s “Leavin’ On Your Mind.”

Actually, that song was probably more likely a reference to fugitive Kate’s dislike of lingering too long in one place, but check out the number of songs that dot this series and deal with redemption, starting over and finding meaning in relationships with others:

• “I Shall Not Walk Alone” – The Blind Boys of Alabama

• “I Got You (I Feel Good)” – James Brown

• “Redemption Song” – Bob Marley

• “I’ll Share My World With You” – George Jones

• “Wonderwall” – Oasis

• “It’s Getting Better” – Mama Cass

• “Love Will Keep Us Together” – Captain and Tennille

And that’s just a smattering, courtesy of Lostpedia’s music page, which lists all the non-original music that appears in the series. (http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Music)

Part of the fun of the series, in addition to following the trials and tribulations of all of the characters, was searching through episodes for Easter Eggs. Cocking an ear and listening to the tunes streaming through my TV set was always a big part of that fun for me. And as the series concludes, here’s a tip of that hat to the folks that cued up that six-season-long jukebox. It was very much appreciated.

And very, very memorable.

 

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