Popol Vuh


Popol Vuh in 1971: Bettina von Waldthausen, Frank Fiedler, Florian Fricke

Popol Vuh were a German musical collective founded by keyboardist Florian Fricke in 1969 together with Frank Fiedler (sound design, fine cut), Holger Trülzsch (percussion), and Bettina Fricke (tablas and production). Other important members during the next two decades included Djong Yun, Renate Knaup, Conny Veit, Daniel Fichelscher, Klaus Wiese, and Robert Eliscu. The band took its name from the Mayan manuscript containing the mythology of highland Guatemala‘s K’iche’ people. Popol Vuh began as an electronic music project, but under Fricke’s leadership they soon abandoned synthesizers for organic instrumentation and world music influences. They developed a productive working partnership with director Werner Herzog, contributing scores to films such as Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972), Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), and Fitzcarraldo (1982). The group are associated with West Germany’s 1970s krautrock movement and are considered progenitors of ambient music. Today, Popol Vuh’s best-reviewed works are In den Gärten Pharaos (1971) and Hosianna Mantra (1972). The band’s name, taken from the Mayan manuscript, has been translated roughly as ‘meeting place’ or ‘book of the community’. Their first album, Affenstunde, released in 1970, can be regarded as one of the earliest space music works, featuring the then new sounds of the Moog synthesizer together with ethnic percussion. This continued for only one more album, In den Gärten Pharaos, and material later to be released on the soundtrack to Aguirre, the Wrath of God, before Fricke largely abandoned electronic instruments in favour of piano-led compositions from 1972’s Hosianna Mantra forward. This album also marked the start of exploring overtly religious themes rather than a more generally spiritual feeling within the music. The group evolved to include a range of instruments: wind and strings, electric and acoustic alike, combined to convey a mystical aura that made their music spiritual and introspective. … With music sometimes described as ‘ethereal’, they created soundscapes through psychedelic walls of sound, and are regarded as precursors of contemporary world music, as well as of new age and ambient. …”
Wikipedia
The Great Ecstasy Of The Sculptor Popol Vuh: A Profile Of Florian Fricke
The Transcendent Music Of Popol Vuh – Part 1, 2, 3, 4
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Improvisation (Live), Affenstunde 1 / 5, Einsjäger & siebenjäger 1 / 8, Sei still, wisse ich bin 1 / 8, Seligpreisung 1 / 9, “Aguirre pt I, II, III”, In The Gardens Of Pharaos 1 / 4

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