Sunday, April 13, 2014
I first became aware of Krzysztof Penderecki from his inclusion on Kubrick's The Shining soundtrack (easily one of my favorite flicks) but it was the deleted segment "Neverwhere Land" on the long-awaited Heavy Metal VHS release that really got me interested in his work. The deleted scene (evidently cut for pacing purposes as well as being stylistically darker than the rest of the film) traces the Loc-Nar influencing evil throughout the ages, from prehistoric time through WWII. Backing the crude animation is Penderecki's "Passacaglia" which I would later learn is the fifth section of his 1975 opus Magnificat. Written between 1973 and 1974, the orchestra is a deeply minimalist soundscape of discord and misery. At best it is what I would imagine Hell sounds like; pained chorals and prolonged, drawn strings. Really amazing stuff - definitely worth checking out.