Herrmann’s score for It’s Alive represents the epitome of his succinct style. The music evolves from short, mostly conjunct motives (usually only 2–5 notes), repeated sequentially. There is little in the way of extended melody. The orchestration is also typical for Herrmann: an unusual ensemble consisting of 6 clarinets, 8 French horns, 6 trumpets, 6 trombones, 2 tubas, 2 harps, Moog synthesizer, electric bass guitar, organ and percussion. The only string instrument is a solo viola d’amore, a Baroque-era instrument that the composer previously used for On Dangerous Ground and one of his Twilight Zone episode scores.
This CD features the premiere release of Herrmann’s nearly complete score (only one five-second cue is missing), mastered from a set of ¼″ monaural tapes in the Warner Bros. vaults. (No stereo masters survive.) FSM’s 16-page booklet, designed by Joe Sikoryak, includes a detailed, perceptive essay on film and score by Jeff Bond and Frank K. DeWald.