First the bad news: there is no official Zardoz OST.
The good news: Mounds & Circles have created one from the DVD! Imperfect, with snatches of dialogue, but the closest we could get to capturing the film score proper.
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.
|DM rocking the bass shawm - take that, Circulus!|
Following the deaths of his father and father-in-law soon after one another, Munrow's world fell apart and he hanged himself in 1976 at the age of just 34. Thankfully his work lives on despite this tragedy, through his many recordings, and one item of particular interest: a recording included on the Voyager Golden Record , sent off beyond the solar system on the Voyager space probes on their journey through the cosmos.
The hills are alive...