Tuesday, September 30, 2008

aguirre, wrath of god

in search of gold, not yage. the unhinged klaus kinski.

Given that Floarian Fricke's Popol Vuh took their name from a manuscript setting out the mythology of the Post-Classic Quiché Maya in Guatemala, it is especially fitting that their first collaboration with German director, Werner Herzog was for his 1972 epic filmed on location in the steaming Amazonian rainforests of South America.

Virtually from their inception in 1970 - until Fricke's death in December, 2001 - Popol Vuh had forged an almost symbiotic working relationship with the independent auteur. It is virtually impossible to visualise many of Herzog's greatest films existing outwith those haunting soundtracks created by Fricke to mesmerising effect.

All the more surprising then when one considers that much of the music featured on this album bears little resemblance to the music in those films. "Music From The Film, Aguirre" was not released in its original form until 1974 on Ohr Records, and 1975 on Barclay Records; and of those five tracks included on that first issue, only two appeared in Herzog's cinematic masterpiece. Allegedly, some of the music from "Aguirre" is utilised in an entirely separate movie, "Before Night Falls", a film about the cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas - persecuted for his sexuality - directed by Julian Schnabel in 2000.

Produced by Popol Vuh. Written and aranged by Florian Fricke. Recorded at Bavaria Tonstudio, Munich.

Florian Fricke: piano, mellotron; Daniel Fichelscher: electric & acoustic guitars, drums; Dyong Yun: vocals; Robert Eliscu: oboe, pan pipes.

POPOL VUH: AGUIRRE i from "Music From The Film, Aguirre" LP (Ohr) 1974 (Germany)

POPOL VUH: AGNUS DEI from "Music From The Film, Aguirre" LP (Ohr) 1974 (Germany)



LV said...

kinski was a rolling stone!

ib said...

A fine film, and a fine - if unpredictable - actor. While I was checking up on some facts, I read that Kinski shot the finger off one of the extras working on location when he fired indiscriminately into their hut, apparently incensed at some intrusive noise affecting his concentration. I knew of his reputation for tantrums and tirades but this level of prima donna behaviour was news to me.

A considerable sum of money must have been thrown around to hush that episode up.

Big B said...


Anonymous said...

I did not ken that this sdtk was by Popol. Thx for the tip!