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 CELESTIAL HARMONIES

In 1968 Eckart Rahn started his Kuckuck Schallplatten-label. This Munich-based  label released music by Deuter, Eberhard Schöner and Peter Michael Hamel. Not however of Popol Vuh. This changed when Rahn started the Celestial Harmonies-label in the early 80s.
 
Celestial Harmonies did no first release of Popol Vuh albums, only a  few reissues and compilations. Except for the three piano tracks ´Spirit of Peace I-III´.
 
They did only one straight re-edition of a Popol Vuh album, namely ‘Hosianna Mantra’ (1981),  remastered by Bob Cubbage and Allen Landau. 
 
For ‘Tantric Songs’ they took the subtitle of the album ‘Die Nacht der Seele’ and selected seven tracks for the A-side this lp. For the B-side they took the title track of the album  ‘Brüder des Schattens – Söhne des Lichts’. Ulrich Kraus did the remastering.
 
In later years ‘Hosianna Mantra’ and ‘Tantric Songs’ were combined on a cd.
 
They did also a rerelease of  ‘In den Garten Pharaos’ combined with what first looks as a rerelease of ‘Aguirre’. However from the original ‘Aguirre’-album only the title track is included, plus the three previously unreleased ‘Spirit of Peace’-tracks.
Bob Cubbage did digital remix of the ‘Aguirre’-track. Ulrich Kraus did digital remix of ‘In the Gardens of Pharao’ and  ‘Vuh’, and digital recording of the three ‘Spirit of Peace’-tracks in 1981. Eckart Rahn is mentioned as producer of these tracks. Alas the recording studio is not mentioned.
 
In an account of the history of the Celestial Harmonies label, written by John Schaefer and based on talks he had with Rahn in 1997: 
 
“The next big step was the beginning of the CD era. Eckart Rahn was one of the first to embrace digital technology, and points to his 1981 recording of Spirit of Peace (13008-2) by Popol Vuh's leader and pianist Florian Fricke as the turning point. It is hard to point to any one project as the first-ever digital recording, but this was certainly one of the first. "It was the first time I experienced the magic of digital recording," Rahn recalls. "I was in the studio with engineer Ulrich Kraus and we were listening to the performance in the studio. I said, could we listen to the tape itself? And he said, you are listening to the tape. I couldn't believe it. He switched back and forth between the live sound and the sound from the tape and your ears could not tell them apart." When the digital CD format was introduced in Europe in late 1983 and in the U.S. in 1984, Rahn was ready for it.” (From: www.harmonies.com)
 
The second piano piece appeared in 1985 on the official Popol Vuh release ‘Spirit of Peace’. The album ‘Spirit of Peace’ was not in the SPV reissue program, probably due to problems with Celestial  Harmonies.
 
As said, Celestial Harmonies only did the first release of the three piano pieces ‘Spirit of Peace I-III’. It is not clear whether this release was authorized by Florian Fricke.
 
The label used the work of Florian Fricke an Popol Vuh for four of their compilations: ´Earth’s Answer´, ´Keys of Life´, ´Musqique Mechanique´ and ´Produced Music - 1966/1996´
 
 
 
CEL 004  Hosianna Mantra - CS - US - 1981
CEL 004  Hosianna Mantra - LP - US - 1981
 
CEL 006  Tantric Songs - LP - US -  1981
CEL 13006-4  Tantric Songs - CS - 1981
 
CEL 008/009  The Gardens of Pharaos/Aguirre - 2LP –Germany-1983
CEL 008/009  The Gardens of Pharaos/Aguirre – CS – Germany - 1983
CEL 008/009  The Gardens of Pharaos/Aguirre CD-  Germany – 1991
 
CEL 13006-2 Tantric Songs / Hosianna Mantra – CD - 1991 
 
Compilations
 
CEL 017         Keys of Life - Piano Music From - LP - 1986    
CEL 017 Keys of Life – Piano Music From CD 1986       
CEL 016 Earth's Answer - LP - Germany – 1988   
CEL 1402 Musique Méchanique - 2CD - USA - 1994   
CEL 19030-2  Eckart Rahn - Produced Music: 1966-1996 - 2CD - Germany - 1997
 
Plus
 
The 'Sei Still..'-film, offered on ebay in 2016. Never officially released by Celestial Harmonies. Maybe intended?
 
 
 
 

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