Promosheet 'Spirit of Peace'

Bron: Cicada Records

Promosheet 'Spirit of Peace'


 “Spirit of Peace”(C 001) is the first release on the exciting New Music label Cicada Records.

POPOL VUH formed in 1970 and, after a brief flirtation with synthesizers, switched to exploring the potential of piano, guitars, and human voice.

POPOL VUH also recorded the soundtracks to most of the films by noted German director Werner Herzog (“Aguirre: Wrath of God”, “Heart of Glass”, and “Nosferatu”just to name a few).

The man responsible for most of the tracks is the talented Florian Fricke, who has been making music since the age of 11. He learned Classical piano and contributed tot he “Zeit”album by Tangerine Dream.

As the title of the album suggests, this is the album for you to listen to after a long tiring day.

“Popol Vuh”is the name of the South American Mayan people’s holiest relic “The Book of the Dead”.

“Agape-Agape” which was first released by Uniton Records will be re-released by Cicada Records very soon with new catalogue number C 002.

Cicada Records are distributed in the U.K. by Making Waves and Rough Trade/The Cartel.

For more information about the Cicada Records releases contact the address below.

1 Clarence House, Rushcroft Road, London SW2 IJJ 01-2742025




Now 41, Florian Fricke has been making music since the age of 11 when he attended music collage and learnt Classical piano music. Subsequently he played with the likes of Manfred Eicher (later to form the Jazz label ECM) and Eberhard Schoner, who introduced Fricke tot he then revolutionary Moog synthesizer.

Entranced by the seemingly endless potential of the synth, the first Popol Vuh album ‘Affenstunde’ was released in 1970. Fricke then contributed to the ‘Zeit’album by Tangerine Dream and recorded one more synth album, ‘In the Pharaohs Garden’ in 71 before exhausting his interest and relinquishing the instrument as too mechnical and limiting.

From then on Fricke concentrated on his piano playing and released a series of albums in collaboration with Danny Fichelscher playing sitar and guitars. The result was some superbly inspirational music combining the ‘meditational’ forms of eastern music with a contemporary Western Rock understanding.

Also Fricke/Popol Vuh have produced the soundtracks to most of the highly respected films by noted German director Werner Herzog ( “Aguirre, God of Wrath”, “heart of Glass” and “Nosferatu” to name but three).

“Popol Vuh”is the name of the South American Mayan people’s holiest relic “The Book of the Death”, which reflects Fricke’s interest in diverse cultures. He has travelled extensively throughout the world, absorbing and learning all the while.

C001 Spirit of Peace                                       lp/mc

C002 Agape Agape                                         lp/mc

Lees meer: Promosheet 'Spirit of Peace'

Popol Vuh (Aura)

Bron: Aura, nr.4, 1979
Auteur: Phil Burford

Popol Vuh

Popol Vuh – Bruder des Schattens, Söhne des Lichts (Brain 0060.167)

Popol Vuh – On the Way to a little Way (Original Soundtrack to Herzog’s Fantôme de la Nuit (Egg 900 573

Popol Vuh seem to have been rather busy lately, although their output has always been quite prolific compared with other German bands. The groupare out on their own creating music in a unique style which cannot really be compared to anyone else. The Brain album, recorded in August 1978 and released on import just before Xmas, follows the same style promoted on Heart of Glass, but in a more mellow manner. The feverish drumming that accompanied the majority of tracks on the earlier releases has vanished to a large extent, leaving the main theme as an interweaving of Fricke’s simple piano motifs with Daniel’s intricate acoustic and electric guitar patterns. This is especially true of the three tracks on side 2 which, after a few cursory hearings, seem to be very ordinary, but still later you find the depth and warmth which are hidden within each piece of music. Fricke and Fichelscher do really seem to have some sort of magic chemistry working between them to produce such beauty from only piano and guitar, music to float away on.

Side 1 is taken up by the extended title piece, and opens with a beautiful passage of male choir/oboe and cymbals, conjuring up images of imaginary lost, mystic temples. The music is totally removed from any sort of rock tag which might be used to try and label it, comparisons with the Grateful Dead which have been rooted by some people seem to be very tenuous. After the opening five minutes, the choir disappears and we are left with Fricke and Fichelscher exchanging messages on piano and guitar, taking us on a timeless trip with the help of Al Gromer’s careful/sparse use of sitar, and Ted de Jong’s occasional tamboura, plus the ever present oboe floating in the background. Perfect.

The second album has only just appeared on Egg and is another kettle of fish altogether. Understanding of the recording, personnel etc, is not helped by the cover which concentrates almost totally on aspects of the film. The only clue is given by the production date of 1978, but listening to the album you find perhaps the most diverse Popol Vuh album to date. Judging from the credits for the ten tracks included here, if seems the line-up of the band remains virtually the same as on the Brain release. As opposed to the latter, Fricke is seen to share the writing more than ever before with Al Gromer, Danny Fichelscher and Ted de Jong, all contributory efforts.

Side 1 begins with ‘Mantra’ a very ‘Indian’ influenced place with Gromer and Jong to the forefront on sitar and tamboura This is followed by a Fichelscher acoustic guitar track, very light and flows along well. The Indian filling comes to a head on the third track written by Gromer, combining the sitar from the east with the guitar from the west. The final track follows in the same musical mould, although a more melancholy mood is introduced by the intoning sitar, Fricke, despite writing two tracks on Side 1, seems very little in evidence on the actual tracks and it all seems down to Fichelscher/Jong and Gromer it is only with the first three tracks on side 2 that he comes to the fore with three beautifully controlled synthesizer pieces (this is written Daniel abd Jong), which let the silence speak as loud as the synthesizer itself. For some reasons the first track ‘On the Way’ seems very familiar, but still shows Fricke is a real master of the synthesizer. Tracks four and six are re-workings of ‘Kleine Krieger’ and ‘King Minos’ of the earlier Vuh album ‘Einsjäger & Siebenjäger’. The basic tracks have been re-recorded, adding various sitar sounds as embellishment, and both ideas work. The other number on Side 2 ‘Die Nacht der Himmel’ has the same feeling as the opening track on the Brain album, temple choir enchanting the night with sparse musical back-up.

Two albums of equal  importance, the Brain release is the more coherent but the soundtrack album shows the band at their most diverse, perhaps it make sense after seeing the film as the music this time seems to have been tailored directly for the story.

The question is, how long now can Fricke and Fichelscher keep up such a high standard?

Both highly recommended.



Lees meer: Popol Vuh (Aura)

Werner Herzog in Bamberg

Source: Werner Herzog in Bamberg - Protokoll einer Diskussion  14./15. Dezember 1985 (Bamberger Studies zur Kunstgeschichte und Denkmalpflege), p.154-156
Author: A.Rost

Werner Herzog in Bamberg

Frage (Robert Gerlach); Ich hätte noch eine Frage zur Musik. Sie nehmen meinetwegen im Film immer verschiedene Drehorte, nur als Beispiel, aber in der Musik sehe ich  eine gewisse Konstanz, also es taucht ja häufig die Gruppe ‘Popol Vuh’ auf. Da wurde mich zum einen interessieren, warum  immer ausgerechnet die Gruppe, die ja eigentlich inzwischen gar nicht mehr so aktuell ist, und dann,  inwieweit durch die Musik so eine gewisse Konstanz in den Film kommt, die meiner Meinung nach zum Teil auch unpassend an manchen Stellen ist – z.B., wie wir vorhin gesehen haben, in HERZ AUS GLAS, wo die Landschaftsbilder, in denen Hias den Berg runterging, von dieser leicht fröhliche Musik meiner Meinung nach zerstört werden.

Herzog: Das empfinde ich nicht so.  Eigenltich eher ganz anders. Zu dieser Gruppe ’Popol Vuh’:  das hat mich nie interessiert, ob die gängig ist oder nicht, das ist ja im Grunde  eh nur einer person, der Florian Fricke. Ich habe mit ihn gearbeitet, weil ich mich da sehr gut habe verständlich machen können, was eigentlich die Musik sein sollte, und da sind ja auch sehr schöne Sachen immer wiedergekommen. Ich glaube, das ist nur deswegen ausgewählt , weil für meine Begriffe und meinem Empfinden nach die Musik eben dort fast ideal ist.  Ich könnte mir eigentlich gar nichts anderes dafür vorstellen.  Vieles ist auch nach  einer bereits vorhandenen Musik gemacht worden, da hat es also Musik gegeben, und danach sind sozusagen die Bilder organisiert worden, d.h. der Schnitt nach der Musik. Ich kann nur grundsätzlich sagen, ob die Musik jetzt da paßt oder nicht, darüber  läßt sich überhaupt nicht argumentieren. Ich nehme nur zur Kenntnis, dass Sie es nicht als passend empfinden an dieser Stelle; ich kann nur sagen, ich empfinge es richtig. Ich selber kann mir gar nichts anderes vorstellen. Es ist im übrigen auch sehr viel  rumprobiert worden. Es kommen auch Musiken vor bei mir, wo ich niemals gedacht hätte, daß sie je in einen Film hineinpassen würden. Und trotzdem passen sie auf einmal.

Frage (Robert Gerlach): Aber dass so eine Musik jetzt etwas Bestimmtes  signalisiert,  z.B. bei Aguirre und  beim Bildschnitt zu Steiner, da wird, glaube ich, teilweise dasselbe Musikstück verwendet, wenn ich mich nicht irre.

Herzog: Das kann sein, ja. Ich glaube ja, daß es an einer  Stelle mal sowas gibt.

Fragender: Ist das Zufall, oder...?

Herzog: Das ist in dem Fall Zufall, weil wir alles mögliche durchprobiert haben und zufälligerweise lag noch irgendeine Rolle von Musik auf Perfo-Tonband von Aguirre herum, und ich habe gesagt: “Probieren wir doch mal alles von da durch, da war doch irgendsowas.” Und auf einmal hat das unheimlich gut gepaßt. Also das ist sehr oft einfach eine Rumtasterei, wie Arbeit in einem Schneideraum halt funktioniert.  Gerade zufälligerweise ist noch ein ungelöschtes Stück von einer solchen Musik da, und man probiert es einfach aus, im Verlauf von 20 andere Musiken, die man auch durchprobiert hat. “

Lees meer: Werner Herzog in Bamberg


Joseph D.Rowland (Pallbearer):

"Popol Vuh is one of my favorite bands of all time. I'm not really sure how I came across Popol Vuh years ago, but they have consistently stuck with me as one of the most atmosphere-filled music groups that's able to conjure up such an incredible feeling, a meditative feeling, with simple but with awesome melodies, hypnotic". (2013)

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