Liska, Zdenek: Ikarie XB-1 LP
With this previously unreleased 1963 score for Jindlich Polák's Ikarie XB-1, Finders Keepers present an "elusive" musical artifact by Zdeněk Liska, the label's third soundtrack by the composer. Fettered by the hampers of communism, this lifelong resident of Czechoslovakia would never quite find his seat at the same table as the likes of John Barry, Ennio Morricone, Michael Nyman, and Stanley Myers. But having waited patiently behind the borders of the wider landscapes of international cinema, Liska's musical brood, spanning multiple stylistic decades and generations, has now started to walk proudly amongst his would-be, latter-day compeers. In an era where music lovers have almost become immune to adjectives like "lost", "rare", and "unreleased" in a climate where previously lesser-known off-kilter master composers such as Vannier, Kirchin, and Axelrod have become widely revered, it is perhaps the perfect time for discerning listeners to advance above the feeding trough and seek out this truly pioneering and revolutionary Eastern European composer. Rivaled only by the likes of Krzysztof Komeda and Andrzej Korzynski in Poland, alongside Alexandr Gradsky in Russia, and often splitting workloads with fellow Czech composers like Lubos Fiser, Zdeněk Liska's filmography of over almost 300 fully formed movie scores virtually eclipses the achievements of these socialist era luminaries. Respected unanimously in both Czech and Slovakian by studio bosses, producers, directors and actors alike Liska is widely known for his ability to take the existing energy in a reel of film and literally change the polarity to suit his own interpretation while maintaining the full support from his "client" who would in-turn end up working under this composer's creative direction. Not only was Liska a genius of emotive orchestral and coral composition, his grasp on small group arrangements and intimate, minimal scores set him above the competition. By utilizing primitive sample techniques by "looping" a film's existing ambient noise, or rearranging found sounds and dialog into subtle melodic arrangements, Liska would independently develop his own techniques which had simultaneously become known in Paris as musique concrète. It is a direct extension of these experiments that saw Liska also draw parallels with Walter Branchi (Ennio Morricone's main electronic sidekick) in Italy as well as Daphne Oram in the UK, making Liska a relatively untraveled pioneer of early electronic composition and sound design due to his unlikely global environment. Remastered from the original tapes with the full cooperation of the National Film Archive in the Czech Republic.