Castle If Zardoz
Published Jul 10, 2019Piloting a mission into a distant vortex from the helm of a Moog Voyager, Jess Forrest's reimagined score for John Boorman's 1974 science fantasy kitsch masterpiece Zardoz takes flight.
Originally composed for a live score to accompany a screening of the mustachiod and bandolier-wearing Sean Connery vehicle at Toronto's Royal Cinema, it's a natural application for Forrest, whose compositions as Castle If typically occupy some place caught between macramé interior gardens and space odysseys.
Forrest's arrangements generally propose a darker atmosphere for the film, so it's especially interesting that "The Apathetics" conceives some of the brightest music for the film's walking ghosts, blips foaming off a purring drone like excess electricity.
Even unaccompanied by Boorman's film, Forrest's original music sounds full of cautious wonderment, and evocative of a dystopian future. That it appears alongside some arrangements of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony is icing on the cake, transforming the original score's vocal rendition of the work into a wandering Wendy Carlos-worthy synth spectacle. The final track, "Op. 92, Switched On" hearkens directly back to that synth pioneer's work, and Forrest wears the responsibility of her legacy with prized passion, soliciting the album's most dense and complicated compositions from her machine over the course of its longest track.
A cult take on a cult classic ready to be discovered, after listening to Forrest's score, it will be difficult to view the film the same way again. (Independent)