To Score The Haunting Woodsmen Scene, David Lynch Severely Slowed Down Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” And Mixed It With Monkey Screeches

They went by many different nicknames since two isolated apparitions in Buckhorn, but after Part 8, the bearded, charcoal-covered bums in black who hang out in jail cells, morgues, and around The Convenience Store, can be officially called “woodsmen.”

Woodsmen and Mr. C

A gang of them descends from pure air to, I guess, ‘heal’ Mr. C after being shot by Ray Monroe. By dancing, digging in the dirt around him, and rubbing blood all over Cooper’s doppelgänger’s face, they seem to increase or strengthen Killer BOB’s presence. The minimal yet haunting score for that scene was not listed in Part 8’s end credits, and it sounded unlike anything else used in the series so far.

But if you speed up the soundtrack like Taylor Murphy did, you’ll discover the music is in fact very familiar. It’s a part taken from the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s famous “Piano Sonata No. 14,” only seriously slowed down. The scene’s closing shot of the moon could be a hint, as the 1801 composition is popularly known as “Moonlight Sonata.”

UPDATE: As noted by Shaun and Brittyn, Ray’s screaming towards the end sure does sound like a monkey screeching! Any relation to the monkey saying “Judy?”

David Lynch previously slowed down American Woman by Muddy Magnolias for a scene in Part 1, but here he’s doing it way more drastically with Beethoven’s sonata. In an effort to recreate the music without Ray’s screaming, I took the original and stretched it 500%. Not quite the same, so let’s hope David Lynch’s edit will be included on the upcoming Twin Peaks soundtrack (Amazon).

Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata Slowed Down 5X

And remember, the cow jumped over the moon.

Hat tip to Coz Baldwin.

UPDATE (2018): In an interview with Variety, sound supervisor Dean Hurley explained the choice of music.

[David Lynch] said he’s always loved Vladimir Horowitz’s rendition of ‘Moonlight Sonata’ — ‘Give me “Moonlight Sonata” slowed down two times and two octaves down.’ I’ve always felt like it was the one singular thing that you can do to a piece of audio in one fell swoop to totally change it completely. … Sonically, that scene is just super-restrained and simple, but the crux of it is all David. It’s just all built around this vibe of that slowed-down ‘Moonlight Sonata.’”

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Written by Pieter Dom

Founder and curator of Welcome to Twin Peaks since 2011. Bobsessed since March 1991.


Share your thoughts
  1. Beethoven himself named his piano sonata #14 “Sonata quasi una Fantasia”, “almost like a fantasy”. Only in subsequent years did it get associated with the name Moonlight Sonata.

  2. It looked like the woodsmen were removing Bob from Evil Cooper’s body. Since we know Bob can use different vessels, Cooper’s survival doesn’t seem contingent on Bob being inside of him.

  3. So the first time we meet Mr. C we have “American Girl” by the Muddy Magnolias slowed down 5x.

    Then Gordon, Albert, and Tammy interrogate him through a window in the jail and his voice is slowed down some.

    Now Beethoven gets the Lynch treatment.

    This is so awesome! Great find! It just adds to the idea that Mr. C is a perversion of nature.

  4. Amazing finding great work. The man is incredible. It works PERFECTLY for that scene. It is menacing and it perfect harmony with the visual as the appear from no whete and running in slo-mo.

  5. Hi,

    Any chance speeding the vintage music (from when the alarm goes off) up would resemble anything? Just a thought.

  6. “vintage music (from when the alarm goes off) ” is Lynch/Hurley’s song released 10 years ago on “The Air is on Fire” as a part of song “Interior”.

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