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Thomas Nöla et son Orchestre - The Doctor: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

"One among them will not waste his time however. He will be a man among mousey creatures...None will know this man of importance as a man of importance but at some point, likely not until this man has turned to dirt and dust, we will have to tell other towns about this thoughts, his life. Nothing can stop that". So opens the soundtrack to The Doctor, Thomas Nöla's underground cult film described by the Baltimore press as "bizarrely spooky and [of] absurdly serious beauty".

Following the death of his wife, The Doctor is in a precocious state of mind not helped by the haunting by an ex-patient Miss Marilla Huxley. As he wrestles with his grief he ponders the big questions of life and death in a journey that takes him from Iceland to Calcutta. The soundtrack composed by the director is a wonderful accompaniment heightening the surreal atmosphere, complete with narration by Douglas P. of Death In June. It's a sinister and offbeat recording ranging from eerie drone pieces to warped musical interludes permeated by a haunted air. It employs elements of classic movie soundtracks but everything appears slightly off-kilter. The ominous harmonies, muted trumpet score and guitar twang obviously reference the soundtrack work of Ennio Morricone, while the queasy harmonica melody wafting over plucked steel-string guitar on 'Enter The Griffin' taps into John Barry's 'Midnight Cowboy' theme. At other times it picks up on a carnivalesque atmosphere with spirited horn playing, or employs ghostlike ragtime music. Even the melodic piano chords of the 'Opening Waltz' are awash with weird effects. The entire recording is suitably skewed, but beautifully executed.

Douglas P. of Death In June is credited as narrator but his contributions go far beyond providing straightforward voiceovers. At times his perfect readings add a degree of normality to the proceedings. At other times his narration is much more dramatic ranging from the German accented delivery of 'He Thought Of The Creeping Things' or the sinister high-pitched recitations of 'The Doctor Looked Out'. And on 'Here The Doctor Stood For Hours' Douglas P.s voice is set against a choppy xylophone and military snare. The voiceovers from Jerry Adams, delivered in a honey coated American accent, are much more absurd and cynical.

It's a peculiar but engaging listen, and as a piece of music it works terrifically on its own. I've yet to view the film but I'll be seeking out a copy. Death In June fanatics won't want to miss out on this, as besides the involvement of Douglas P. The Doctor draws upon waking dreams, Morricone soundtracks, The Prisoner (there's a recurrent "village" motif), it's cynical and shares a disdain for great segments of humanity.

The Doctor is available on CD but I'd suggest you seek out the double vinyl edition. Limited to 400 copies on violet vinyl, with a poster and a fourth side of non-film readings by Douglas P. with backing by Thomas Nöla. All I need to do know is get a hold of the DVD. For more information go to