The Sound of Zardoz
The Sound of Zardoz, 31st August 2011
John Boorman commissioned David Munrow to compose the score, no doubt having been impressed by his groundbreaking work reviving early music with his outfit, The Early Music Consort, and period soundtrack projects such as The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elisabeth R for the BBC, and Ken Russell's film adaptation of Huxley's The Devils of Loudon.
The soundtrack for Zardoz uses a sprinkling of electronic noises woven into early chamber instrumentation, renaissance and Ligeti-modernist choral passages, Debussy flute suggesting Zed's affinity with Pan and Tibetan tingsha cymbals to top it off. On paper this looks rather confusing but the score works seamlessly with the sound effects and serves to enhance Boorman's visuals without dominating, possessing an almost timeless quality as it folds together styles from different periods to create the sound of futures past, as is only appropriate for the Eternals in AD 2293.
The film ends as it begins in a romantic mood with Munrow's reworking for voices and early instruments of Symphony No. 7 in A, op. 92, 2nd movement by Ludwig van. Vidi well, my brothers.
Munrow was an incredible driving force during his career, recording over 50 albums as well as lecturing and touring the world, bringing extinct instruments back to life and collaborating with many artists, including Shirley and Dolly Collins.