Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Filmworks Continue

I have been listening to death (perhaps unavoidably) "Filmworks X - In The Mirror Of Maya Deren", John Zorn's soundtrack to a movie about a "voodoo priestess" (I've never met one of those before). It is a very slight thing, this soundtrack, perhaps deceptively so; rather difficult to get to grips with in fact: you put it on, you immediately warm to it, half an hour later you realise it's still playing, and then it's gone. Was it ever there at all? Is that the voodoo talking?

The elements are in almost perfect alignment: Erik Friedlander on cello, Jamie Saft on keyboards, some spooky percussive elements floating around in the atmosphere (some by Zorn himself, who also acquits himself passably on piano on a couple of tracks - well, if Nick Cave can assail us with electric guitar on record mere weeks (I could be exaggerating here, but I suspect not by much) after first picking one up ...), a couple of beautifully lyrical themes creeping in and out of proceedings. But somehow as a stand-alone prospect this disc is an ever-so-slight disappointment coming after the heroics of vols VII to IX. (Although I see myself returning to it regularly: it suits a particular mood, of, what, gentle melancholia? Which is a not uncommon state for me.)

But never fear. In the way of things Zorn the following year, 2002, saw the release of not one but three further Filmworks: it is to those that we turn next.