It’s not uncommon for the Director’s Cut of a film to come out, but Fabio Frizzi had the unique opportunity to create a Composer’s Cup for Lucio’s Fulci the afterlife.
I opened the gates of Hell with the influential Italian maestro to discuss the project, which is rolling out in select theaters throughout the month, while honoring Lucio Fulci, his upcoming Composer’s Cut, and more. Read on for my full interview with Fabio Frizzi!
Bloody Disgusting: You’ve been paying homage to Lucio Fulci with Frizzi 2 Fulci since 2013. Tell me how it started.
Fabio Frizzi: I always knew that my collaboration with Lucio was an important part of my career and my professional development. Then, when the Internet became a communication system between people all over the world, I realized that my friend and director Fulci had left a trail of interest and admiration practically all over the world with his films. And this aura of esteem and enthusiasm had also involved me, like his collaborator in many films that have become cults. This artistic heritage pushed me to create a tribute to him, a show in which Lucio Fulci was told through my music written for him, a show full of affection and a lot of emotion. In 2011 I started a task force, then picked the best musicians, and on Halloween 2013 we made our debut at Union Chapel London. Frizzi 2 Fulci, one of the strongest experiences of my life.
Comics: Did Frizzi 2 Fulci lead to The Beyond: The Composer’s Cup?
Frizzi: Exactly. Back on my first US tour in 2015, it was buzzing in my head to bring the soundtrack to a Lucio movie to the stage, like my Goblin friends had been doing for years with Deep Rosso by Dario Argento. I thought about the afterlife, reviewed the film and realized that there wasn’t much to the final mix of music. I imagined myself on stage with the group, but there would be too many moments of pause between one musical intervention and another. One of my collaborators pointed out to me that I was the composer, and that I could take over the project with authority and write a 2.0 version of my original score, so to speak.
BD: What was it like revisiting the material you wrote 40 years ago?
Frizzi: Well, it wasn’t easy. All the work carried out in recent years on the music written at the time has been demanding, not only on the technical level but also for the heavy responsibility that such operations place on the conscience. But I always sought Fulci’s spiritual approval, respecting the artistic spirit that we all breathed at the time, and I think the end result of The Beyond: The Composer’s Cup fully proves it.
BD: Did you compose and record the new score yourself, or did you collaborate with your band?
Frizzi: I wrote a real score, as if it were intended for a symphony orchestra. Then, in the studio, I gave the roles to my group Frizzi 2 Fulci, a string orchestra, a flautist and a choir of eight people – four women and four men – as in the original recording. On stage, in the countless live performances, the usual musicians were always with me: Federico Tacchia on the battery, Roberto Fasciano on bass, Ricardo Rocchi and Alessandro Errichetti to the guitars — the latter alternated by Francesco Saguto from 2018 — and Alessio Contorni on keyboards.
BD: What can fans expect from the new score?
Frizz: The Beyond: The Composer’s Cup is a soundtrack that essentially incorporates all of the old themes from the original film with the addition of a new theme, which ties together many situations in the film, often fitting in with popular old themes. One important thing that has revolutionized the reading of the whole film is the placement of the music, which is often different and denser than in the original. For example, in the famous scene of the spiders devouring the unfortunate architect where there was hardly any music, there is now a new version of one of the old themes, loud and urgent, which describes the whole scene, from the beginning at the end, fueling the audience’s emotions in a breathless crescendo.
BD: Were you worried that people who knew the soundtrack would be distracted or even dislike the new music?
Frizzi: Operations like this often carry this risk, but I have always been clear on one point: this is an energetic and affectionate reinterpretation of a great classic. the afterlife, the original, still remains the starting point, to which we are all fond. But I must tell you that the comments from friends and fans, after the concerts and even after the release of the album, were unanimously flattering; including that of Antonella Fulci [Lucio’s daughter]who gave me wonderful enthusiasm.
BD: What scene did you prefer to compose?
Frizzi: I spoke to you earlier about the spider scene, which was quite a challenge, but I could also mention the end of the film with the scene of the two protagonists’ passage into the afterlife. In short, it’s a new score that I really like.
BD: You are currently working on a Composer’s Cut of Zombie. Tell me about it.
Frizzi: Yes, I just finished mixing the album in my studio in Rome and the master at Abbey Road in London. As The Beyond: The Composer’s Cup album, in this case also the label will be Cadabra Records. It’s a very different operation from the previous one, because in this case I couldn’t work on the film without the original music. In the case of the afterlife, I had a copy of the movie with only dialogue and effects from Grindhouse Releasing. So my choice fell on writing a new soundtrack based on the old music. It seems impossible — it seemed to me too, at first — but the result is a bomb. Coming in the second half of 2023. Can’t wait!
BD: What other films would you like to create a Composer’s Cut for?
Frizzi: I think everyone expects me to do the city of the living dead score. Who knows?
BD: Would you ever consider re-scoring another composer’s soundtrack? Since you did city of the living dead and the afterlifeI would like to hear your point of view House near the cemetery to complete the trilogy.
Frizzi: You won’t believe it, but it was offered to me by a European TV production. But the original publisher didn’t quite agree, perhaps to protect the composer who wrote the score, Walter Rizzati. It certainly didn’t want to be – and it wouldn’t be – a confrontation with this music. Just a funny assumption, like a scene in Back to the future.
BD: Why would you recommend fans see The Beyond: The Composer’s Cup?
Frizzi: I’m extremely proud that Bob Murawski, the head of Grindhouse Releasing who still owned the US rights to the film, didn’t just ask me to use my new version of the soundtrack for his newly restored 4K version of the afterlifebut that he even included my name with his production group above the title.
I think I see The Beyond: The Composer’s Cup is a mystical experience: the restoration carried out on the original negative of the film has restored a quality of color and depth that fans of Fulci and of this film in particular will greatly appreciate. The magic of Sergio Salvati’s lights remains unchanged, but it’s as if we had the opportunity to get a little closer to the stage, to the protagonists, to a stage action that we relive as if it were the first time . And then, without having to come to one of my concerts, the new soundtrack of the film!
To catch The Beyond: Composition by the Composer at a cinema near you:
11/5 – Coolidge Corner Theatre, Boston
11/5 – National Grid Exploradome, Syracuse, NY (with PIECES)
11/8 – Majestic Tempe 7, Tempe, AZ
11/8 – Alamo Drafthouse Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia
8/11 – Alamo Drafthouse Bryant Street, Washington, D.C.
11/8 – Alamo Loudoun, Ashburn, Virginia
11/8 – Alamo Woodbridge, Woodbridge, Virginia
11/8 – Alamo Winchester, Winchester, Virginia
11/16 – Alamo Littleton, Denver, CO
11/17 – Plaza Theater, Atlanta, Georgia
11/18 – Alamo LaCenterra, Katy, TX
11/18 – Alamo Drafthouse Lubbock, Lubbock, TX
11/18 – Alamo Drafthouse Montecillo, El Paso, TX
11/18 & 19 – Marcus Des Peres Theater, St. Louis, MO
November 18 and 19 – Alamo Springfield, Springfield, Missouri
11/19 – Alamo Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX
11/19 – Alamo Drafthouse East El Paso, El Paso, TX
11/19 & 22 – Alamo Drafthouse Laredo, Laredo, TX
11/22 – Alamo New Mission 5, San Francisco, CA
11/22 – Alamo Brooklyn 7, Brooklyn, NY
11/23 – Alamo Drafthouse Richardson, Richardson TX
November 26 and 27 – Hollywood Theatre, Portland, OR
11/28 – Alamo Drafthouse Downtown LA, Los Angeles, CA
11/30 – Music Box Theater, Chicago, IL
12/9 – Mayfair Theatre, Ottawa, ON