Thursday, 19 August 2010

Music inspired by the Andrei Tarkovsky film Stalker

I've been revisiting Lustmord's discography recently and several late nights have been spent in the company of the 1995 album Stalker. Composed by Brian Williams in collaboration with ambient musician Robert Rich, Stalker is a 68-min album inspired by Andrei Tarkovsky's 1979 film of the same name. In the film, a nameless Writer and Professor are led by a tracker, or a stalker through the Zone, a dangerous shape shifting landscape, to the Room which contains a power that makes wishes come true...

Almost immediately after its release, Stalker was hailed as a landmark album of the Dark Ambient / Isolationist genre. The music is heavy, gloomy and brooding. Like the Zone itself, the album's 7 tracks run continuously to form a single mutating soundscape, with ghostly foghorns, whispered voices, deep subterranean rumbles, and ominous dark drones that bellow up and dissipate like plumes of black smoke. Robert Rich provides the album's more ethereal moments with his ethnic musical sounds (which is the closest the album comes to the film's soundtrack and composer Edward Artemiev's electronically treated flutes). If Tarkovsky's film provided the inspiration for the album, one could readily imagine the album serving as a very good companion for a trip into Chernobyl's desolate Exclusion Zone, with track titles such as Hidden Refuge, Delusion Fields, Omnipresent Boundary, Undulating Terrain and A Point Of No Return suggestive of the kind of illicit trips explorers frequently make into the Zone, negotiating radioactive hot spots and avoiding attention from police and armed forces.

The CD from Fathom Records perfectly compliments the music with its sleeve of images by landscape photographer Brad Cole whose haunting work is well worth checking out.

1 comment:

  1. I have not seen the movie - sounds amazing though - and though I'm not a music guy - this piece does interest me.