Looking back at some of the score I composed for Season 7 of Mad Men, there is one track that I’m often drawn to and wish I had recorded a much longer version of it. It’s my “He’s on Nineteen” from Mad Men’s Lost Horizon. I’ve recently uploaded this track to YouTube along with another gem called “Come in Monday” from episode three “Field Trip” of the same season.
Mad Men’s Lost Horizon: Exploring this Enigmatic Episode
What they say:
In the history of television, few shows have captivated audiences and critics alike as Mad Men. Known for its impeccable storytelling this acclaimed series took viewers on a journey through the tumultuous world of 1960s advertising. Among its many standout episodes, “Lost Horizon” from season seven holds a special place, offering a narrative twist that left audiences yearning for more.
“Lost Horizon” is a pivotal episode in the seventh and final season of Mad Men. Written by Semi Chellas, Matthew Weiner and directed by Phil Abraham, it premiered on May 3 2015, and left fans clamoring for answers as they unraveled the complex layers of the show’s protagonist, Don Draper.
The episode takes us on a rollercoaster ride as Don finds himself at a crossroads, battling demons from his past and questioning his very identity. Set against the backdrop of McCann Erickson, the advertising agency that absorbs Sterling Cooper & Partners, “Lost Horizon” delves deep into Don’s psyche, exploring themes of redemption, longing, and the eternal search for meaning.
One of the standout moments of the episode comes as Don is ushered into a meeting room filled with strangers, faced with the reality that his carefully crafted world is slipping away. As the camera pans away from him, the audience is left with a sense of uncertainty, mirroring Don’s own inner turmoil. This visual metaphor perfectly encapsulates the essence of “Lost Horizon” and showcases the masterful storytelling that Mad Men is renowned for.
The episode’s title, “Lost Horizon,” alludes to the famous 1933 novel by James Hilton, which explores a mystical Himalayan utopia. This reference adds another layer of depth to the story, as it signals Don’s search for his own personal utopia, a place of solace and fulfillment.
“Lost Horizon” stands as a testament to Mad Men’s ability to challenge its viewers and provoke introspection. It invites us to question our own desires, motivations, and the sacrifices we make along our own journeys.
But for me, “Lost Horizon” stands apart mostly because of the music in that episode. Who does not love Roger at the organ! Plus Peggy roller skating thru the empty offices. Nice!
And speaking of Peggy, the reuse of my music cue, “Lipstick” when she’s walking through the hall with her banker’s box and Bert Cooper’s 19th Century Japanese print of The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife that Roger gave her is beyond fabulous 😎
The episode first aired on May 3, 2015 and was directed by Phil Abraham. Written by Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner. And check out my unreleased track “He’s on Nineteen” from this episode.
“He’s On Nineteen / Come In Monday” from “Lost Horizon” & “Field Trip”
Jump into Summer 2023 as it’s the first weekend. Head to the beach and take along your favorite playlist, and hopefully, it will have “Bossa Sixteen” on it! Released one year ago, it’s my answer to Pacific Coast Highway, which I composed for Mad Men many years ago and remains a fan favorite. Both tracks are perfect for beaching it this year.
So go ahead and feel the sand between your toes and the sun on your face as you bask in the warm weather. Take a dip in the ocean for me. Pack some snacks and drinks to keep you hydrated throughout the day. Oh, yes, and bring along some friends.
Check it out, my score to “They/Them/Us”. The soundtrack will be coming soon.
“David Carbonara’s score perfectly captures the mood and atmosphere of the film”
So check it out and head over to Soundcloud and preview it before it’s on Spotify/Apple/YouTube.
The film tells the story of Charlie and Lisa, two divorced parents in their 40’s who find themselves at a midlife crossroads. Both are single parents and they have four complicated teenagers between them: one non-binary gender kid, one who orders his weed through the mail, the outspoken one, and last but not least, the “good” child. Lisa and Charlie meet on a dating site, fall madly in love and move in together way too soon. It’s the story of how they manage the challenges of parenting some very demanding teenagers while trying to juggle their new relationship.
While organizing my files, I came across my later seasons of Mad Men music, specifically the unreleased music for Mad Men, season 6 and season 7. Memories of working on the show flooded back, from the long hours in the studio to the satisfaction of creating the perfect sound. It was a challenging but fulfilling experience.
One thing that struck me as I listened to my old work was how much I love what I composed for those later seasons. Sure, I heard flaws and missteps that I didn’t notice at the time, and yes, sometimes it’s a humbling experience, but it’s also a reminder that growth is a never-ending process, especially in the world of music.
It’s interesting to revisit the music that I worked on so many years ago and see how it still resonates with me: the themes that I had forgotten, and how I tried to move it forward in time by adding electric piano, electric bass, etc., but was held back and told that the earlier music worked best. Ugh! I’ll post one here, but check out my YouTube channel for more. There’s music from both Mad Men season 6 and season 7.
Selects from Mad Men unreleased music from seasons 6 and 7.