The music itself is excellent. This is one of the all-time greatest movie scores ever written. Strikingly avant-garde by any standards, and especially so for a big Hollywood movie from 1968, it is somewhat reminiscent of avant- garde classical composer Edgar Varese's big orchestral works (e.g., Arcana). Composer Jerry Goldsmith scored the film for an extremely unusual orchestral ensemble including tuned mixing bowls, a bass slide-whistle, and the cuika, a Brazilian instrument that sounds amazingly like the vocalizing of an excited ape. Unusual playing techniques such as horn players who were asked to blow air through their instruments with their mouthpieces put on backwards, and electronic post-processing of the orchestral recording further add to the eerie, nightmarish quality of the music. Extremely effective in the film, this is the rare soundtrack album which can also stand totally on its own as a tour-de-force musical composition. Highest recommendation.
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