Filmmaker Jane Rosemont met Karl Pestka when he was in high school, already a musical prodigy. Many years later in 2016, while
searching for just the right composer for Apotheosis, his name kept surfacing in her mind.
"He had a bold, eccentric approach to making music and I never forgot that. He wasn't afraid to bend rules, something I can relate to!"
After tracking him down in his newly adopted home of Reykjavik, Iceland, Rosemont gave Pestka a rough draft of the film to see how he might musically interpret the story. "I wept tears of joy, I was overwhelmed" Rosemont says of hearing the music for the first time. "He knew exactly what to do to create tension and mystery."
When Rosemont heard the song "Ages" performed by Pestka with his band Arstioir (music and lyrics by Gunnar Mar Jakobsson) she knew it was the perfect ending for the film. "Haunting but with a hint of hope, which is how I see the film."
Karl James Pestka (born in Lansing, Michigan USA, 10 October 1983) is a composer and performer living in Reykjavík, Iceland, who plays an active role in the prevailing classical direction of Icelandic pop music.
His compositions have won numerous accolades, including two first prizes from the Aegis Film and Video Awards and three Telly Awards.
Karl received his Bachelor of Music degree in 2007 at the University of Michigan. During his
time in Michigan Karl was awarded an honorable mention by the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards for his electric violin work.
Upon moving to Iceland after graduation, Karl worked in 2008 as the notation editor for the Icelandic music theory book Hljómamál, which is now the standard text used throughout Icelandic music schools.
He currently writes and performs in his solo project The Airelectric, collaborating on electric violin and live electronics with diverse artists such as VAR, Momentum, and harpist Lavinia Meijer. Karl also spent several years in the Icelandic group Árstíðir, who gained significant public interest when a video featuring their choral performance in a train station went viral, reaching over 3.5 million views in under a year.