Frederick James Karlin or Fred Karlin (born June 1936) was an Emmy-winning American composer of music for film and television; he served as the composer for the original Westworld film (1973) and its sequel, Futureworld (1976).
The bulk of Karlin's film and TV composing career occured during the late 1960s, the 1970s and 1980s, starting in 1967. During his long career, he created over 100 scores for various feature film and television projects. Though he was active in film scoring, he composed mainly for television. In 1974, his music for the television adaptation of the historical novel The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman won him an Emmy Award.
Karlin studied jazz composition during his college years, was an accomplished trumpeter and dabbled in many different genres, including jazz, blues, rock, as well as classical music and medieval music. He also had an interest in creating scores with unusual instrumentation. All of these different musical interests would have an influence on Karlin's composing for Westworld during the early 1970s. The soundtrack was published by MGM Records on vinyl LP, to coincide with the film.
Fred Karlin largelly retired from composing in the 1990s. He passed away in Culver City, California, on the 26 March 2004, at the age of 67.
Ramin Djawadi's score for the Westworld TV series has homaged some of the leitmotifs and musical elements from Fred Karlin's 1970s Westworld score. This occured most prominently during Season One, in the tracks Sweetwater, Nitro Heist and Freeze All Motor Functions.
- Interview with Fred Karlin for Soundtrack Magazine (1994), archived at The Cinemascore & Soundtrack Archives website
- Fred Karlin obituary in the New York Times, 10 May 2004
- Collection of 1955-2004 scores, recordings, and professional files relating to the musical career of Fred Karlin, at the University of Wyoming