By Jordan Mooney.
Cinematic soundtracks are astounding pieces of work. Loud, cacophonic, but poetic and gentle, they are an essential part of any motion picture. They are essential for scale, size, and atmosphere – some films can be terrible, but have wonderful soundtracks that outperform their source material tenfold.
Film has always been my biggest passion, despite what my music reviews may suggest, and my music collection is peppered with soundtracks that are capable of plunging me back into scenery and environments I love so much on the silver screen.
This is partially why I immediately found myself fascinated with today’s album.
Peter Pahor is a very well read, very well travelled fellow, whom it would be fair to say has seen an awful lot of the world. Having seen the beauty, and read of the potentials of the world, he’s brought his own, fictionalised country, a land, a state, a kingdom – perhaps an entire plane – to the listener’s ears.
The Land of Zed, as this fictional plane is known, is an audible, tangible kingdom of grand landscapes, lush scenery and beautiful plateaus. Waterfalls, forests and the barbarically proud civilisation between. Incredible palaces, towering trees and mountain ranges, chases, armies and execution all bring us into another world, taking the listener and a silent, observant protagonist into the midst of a broken, but oh so beautiful world unknown, sadly leading to the ultimatums of war, hostility and a somewhat gory demise.
Largely built of electronic sound and digital medley, this is an album that could have very easily been made by fifty men, let alone a single composer. It’s grand, it’s powerful, and for scale it’s difficult to beat – this album is huge. It throws in some really intimidating, fearful sounds matched in with pure poeticism and beauty.
This is a movie soundtrack without the movie. Does it lose anything for lack of film? Not in the slightest, in fact, it seems to gain more power by tenfold. The narrative really is strong enough to stand on its own two feet, and is more than willing to prove it to the listener.
The beauty of this sort of music is that everything is implied. Nothing is concrete, and Peter has every intention of taking advantage of this in the record. It’s completely instrumental, so the basics are only implied by the song titles. The rest is entirely up to your own imagination. The kingdom can be as towering and terrifying or as tame and tranquil as you so prefer.
This album may not be a release you continuously listen to, it isn’t really meant to be. The beauty of the land of Zed is you may visit whenever you feel so inclined…and at no point does it lose the beauty or grandeur of the kingdom’s scenery or palaces.
To those whom aren’t acquainted to the idea of listening to film soundtracks, it might be a difficult sort of record to love…but it’s even more difficult not to like.
This is an irresistibly grand, elegant album, of the finest cloth. Take the journey – you won’t regret it.
We were very lucky to have Peter agree to an interview with us about this album and his career.
COTW: Hi there Peter-Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us! Please, introduce yourself to our readers!
Peter Pahor: Thank you for the interview! I’m a producer, guitarist and composer from Italy. I started with classical studies when I was a child and after many years playing guitar I started to produce music. My main genres are metal, classical, cinematic, industrial, and electronic, but every kind of music, so long as it’s made with heart, passion, and mind, is always good for me.
COTW: You’ve just released your latest record, Zed, painting a grand, cinematic journey into another world. This isn’t your debut; however – in fact there’s quite an impressive range of pieces you’ve produced in the past. Would you care to run through them for the benefit of our readers?
PP: Yes of course! In the past, I worked as a producer for various bands and artists, but the main job that I’ve done was for my project called Another Destiny Project. It’s a project where I write and produce music featuring artists from different parts of the world, that brings all of their skills, cultures and influences to the music. The genre is mainly metal, but with a lot of influences, especially cinematic. I love to meet new artists with different cultures and test my skills to create something special. To check out the project, go to www.anotherdestinyproject.com. All of the music is available for free download.
COTW: Zed takes us on a cinematic journey into another world, a world of nature, palaces, and executions. It’s quite an unusual record, very different to what we’re used to – what brought the idea about?
PP: I was always attracted by movie soundtracks. I grew up under the influences of great score composers as Ennio Morricone and John Williams. I love how the soundtrack can describe and give power to the scenes of a movie. Zed describes a movie that I had in my mind. I think it’s interesting to listen to a soundtrack of a movie that doesn’t exist! It’s like when you read a book; Everyone can build his own idea of the story. Everyone can see a different movie in his or her mind…
COTW: It really does have all of the scale and power of a grand, fantasy epic. Is the world of Zed based upon a particular land you recall seeing in books, theatre or film?
PP: Sure. One of the main influences that brought me to compose Zed is by the book, Lost Horizon by James Hilton. A book that talks about the legendary land of Shangri-La. But there’s also the influence from the book, The Country Of The Blind by H. G. Wells. An amazing short novel that I recommend to everyone! The name of the album is a tribute to my favourite comic, Dylan Dog. The number 84 is a story called Zed that talks about a parallel universe inside London!
COTW: How long did it take to produce the album? Would you say it provided more of a challenge than the rest of your output, even commercial work for adverts etc?
PP: Zed took me two and a half months to produce. It’s a particular genre that mixes cinematic, classical and electronic stuff. It was a very new, very big challenge for me. I’m very happy about the sound because it’s exactly what I was searching for. Very dynamic, but at the same time not too aggressive.
COTW: Do you plan to work with the concept of Zed in the future, or do you think you’ve shown all that there is to touch upon?
PP: It’s possible. I love to travel. A lot of my inspirations come from my travels, especially in this kind of music. It’s possible that in the future I will find the right feelings to write up a Return to Zed.
COTW: How did you end up producing this sort of music? Is it something that you’ve been doing all of your life?
PP: I’ve always tried to fill my music with cinematic sounds like big drums, strings, choirs etc… I also love ethnic and electronic sounds. I’m a guitarist, So it was really interesting to create an album which didn’t have any! All these things together brought me to create the album.
COTW: What do you personally think is the finest track on the record… or, rather, the finest location in the land of Zed?
PP: It’s hard to find just one track. The album is a story and the tracks are used only to describe the various parts of this story. If I have to choose one, I think Into The Forest is my favourite.
COTW: Any big plans coming up we might be interested in..?
PP: Actually, I’m very busy these days! I’m producing two albums from two great bands. Tryve, a band that plays very powerful groove metal and Old Roger Revenge, a band that mixes stoner, metal and doom into a “Pirate” concept. I’m also working on my new album that I can define roughly as a mix of Daft Punk and Rammstein. I’m in contact with a label whom are interested in releasing my new cinematic work, and, Internationally, I’m producing music for Carshenah Jefferson, an up and coming actress and director from L.A! Collaborating on various movie projects with her is another way to get my music out there on film.
To be updated about any and all of my work so far, anyone can visit www.peterpahor.com and join me on social media, and sign up for the mailing list! I’m always very active, and I release a lot of stuff for free download. And, most importantly, I like to know what people think about my work so I can improve my skills.
COTW: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us, Peter. It’s been a pleasure. All the best, and here’s hoping you’ll be back on our little zine in the future!
Start your journey with the powers of bandcamp, where you can download the album for not a single penny. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, a completely free album download. If you could travel for free in the real world…the world would be a much lovelier place.
This is the next best thing.
Our thanks go out to Peter for waiting so patiently while we were in the middle of Whitby.