Jerry Goldsmith

Logan's Run & Coma

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This two-fer from the small Chapter III label contains a pair of Jerry Goldsmith-penned film soundtracks written during the late '70s, the period widely acknowledged as the composer's creative zenith. Both Logan's Run and Coma capture Goldsmith at the beginning of his fascination with electronics: the former score, from 1976, employs synthesizers to particularly potent effect, portraying a future dystopia via expressive ambient passages. Goldsmith does not abandon his traditional stock-in-trade, however. A series of extended orchestral themes pulse with the energy and suspense of his finest adventure themes. Written two years later, Coma remains Goldsmith's most unsettling and complex work in the thriller genre. Employing beautifully icy meditative passages alongside harrowing eruptions of dissonance, it's the rare score that retains its punishing tension even removed from the onscreen narrative. Goldsmith's clinical yet visceral arrangements eschew brass in favor of richly textured strings, shrill woodwinds, and portentous piano. The melodies are beautifully constructed yet strangely dispassionate, further enhancing the music's distinct otherness.

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