Altered States (1980)
Music for the motion picture
Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Film Score, 1980



Listen to a sound clip



Studio orchestra, Christopher Keene, conductor RCA Victor (BMG) 3983-2-RG (1981)
Love scene: Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, John Mauceri, conductor Phillips 438 663-2 (1995)
Altered States (the motion picture) Warner Home Video DVD 11076 (1998)


Program note

Early 1979 . . . After a tiring day at the Burbank Studios working on Altered States I was out for an evening of relaxation with a much loved and familiar masterpiece the memory of which was blown into oblivion by the music of a name totally unfamiliar to me — John Corigliano. Reading from my program that he was a contemporary composer I braced myself for thirty minutes of plinks and plunks that pass for music these days. I was in for a shock, a surprise, a revelation.

Not since Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin have I been so excited in the concert hall. Here were sounds of magic and grandeur I had long since despaired of hearing from a modern musician. . . . if only he would compose the music for Altered States instead of some commercial hack we directors are usually saddled with, I thought wistfully. But that's just a dream.

I should have known better — Hollywood is the place wher dreams come true.

                     — Ken Russell, director, Altered States (from the CD notes).

© 2021 John Corigliano | Designed by Wlad Marhulets | Artwork photos by Richard Howe