Eduard Artemiev – Solaris

Superior Viaduct

Filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s landmark sci-fi classic Solaris stands as one of the genre’s most atmospheric and downright heady pieces of work weathering the test of time since its release way back in 1972. It’s no surprise then that the film’s score helmed by Russian composer Eduard Artemiev has fared just as well.

While previously available in re-recorded form the original score is only now seeing its first official release shining a welcome light on a truly classic piece of early electronic music making. Apparently Tarkovsky initially wanted his film devoid of music but when Artemiev was brought on board the composer based the score around the sombre organ work of Bach’s “Chorale Prelude in F minor” with the theme repeatedly filtering in and out of an intense cloud of droning ambient soundscapes.

Utilizing a primitive ANS synthesizer Artemiev’s work is very much what you’d imagine space to sound like: cold dark and alien. It’s also not so far off from the early sounds created by German electronic masters like Cluster or Tangerine Dream though with a significant psychological chill running throughout.

Essential to both the histories of electronic music and film Solaris is a mind-expanding work — then now and likely another 40 years into the future.