ENGLISH FILM MUSIC MASTER Simon Fisher Turner has soundtracked the restoration of The Epic Of Everest, Captain John Noel’s footage of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine’s 1924 attempt to scale the world’s highest mountain. Mallory’s expedition has always been shrouded in mystery: with the summit assault team’s failure to return from the roof of the world, it’s never been known if the peak was attained. Mallory and Irvine were last seen around 800 vertical feet from the summit. What has been presumed to be Mallory’s body was discovered on a later Everest expedition in 1999.
Fisher Turner’s extraordinary music mixes found sound with Nepalese instruments and wafts of beatific melody, and features contributions from Gyratory System’s Andrew Blick, James Brooks from Land Observations, and Throbbing Gristle’s legendary Cosey Fanni Tutti on cornet. “Everest is the world’s highest peak,” reflects Fisher Turner, “and I had a vision of it as somewhere that all the winds of the world could be heard.”
Check out this appropriately airy extract, entitled Makalu.
Fisher Turner, a former child actor whose pop career as a Jonathan King-produced mini-Bowie and later as The King Of Luxembourg, gave us the brilliant Royal Bastard album (Él, 1987) with its extraordinary arrangement of PiL’s Poptones and glamtastic hit-manqué, The Picture Of Dorian Grey, is more regularly celebrated for his soundtrack work, particularly Derek Jarman’s films including Caravaggio (1986) and Blue (1993). This is his second soundtrack to a BFI restoration project after his work for The Great White Silence, which documented Robert Falcon Scott’s fatal race to the South Pole.
The Epic Of Everest premieres at London’s Odeon West End cinema on the evening of October 18. Here’s the trailer, starring some more of Fisher Turner’s exquisite sounds.
Expect the soundtrack album, through Mute, on October 21.