better more crimson

november 03, 2002.

This month's Star on morrei's Better More Radio went to the dark but intriguing - and, I guess, largely improvised - noise'n'instruments music of James Davies's Human Abstract.

Other novelties now playing at Better More include 'The House is haunted', a wonderful cabaretesque track by Randall Throckmorton's Larmes de Colère (listen to that saw!), a track by Isda Werld and Steve Hackett's live version of King Crimson's 'In the Court of the Crimson King', recorded in the Tokyo Koseinenkin Hall, december 1996, from his double CD " The Tokyo Tapes".

Btw, I remember King Crimson's first two albums, " In The Court Of The Crimson King" (1969) and " In the Wake of Poseidon" (1970) as being so very similar (structure of the whole and structure of the songs-wise) that they were almost like two versions of the same 'thing', like two different fill-ins of the same colour plate.
And I always thought of that as having been necessarily something quite intentional. So throughout the years I have started thinking and saying that this was just such a marvelous thing to do...
Funny. For maybe it's just my memory playing tricks. Or else it might have been merely accidental, or even just incapability to come up with something new.

I haven't heard the records for many, many years. Crimson fans usually say that they prefer the first album. I remember 'In the Wake of Poseidon' as the one that I prefered, by far.

Wonder whether Iwould hear this differently now.

tarkovskian soundtracks

october 27, 2002.

In the films of Andreï Tarkovski (1932-1986) the soundtrack often is at least as impressive as are the images.


'Solaris' (1972) was the first one I saw. Apart from the Bach prelude that opens the film, and which recurs several times throughout, the Russian composer Edouard Artemyev created all of the, mostly electronic, music used.
Henri Berton's drive back from his visit at Kris Kelvin's dacha in the beginning of the movie, along concrete city ramparts and through long tunnels, shot on location in Japan, is a near perfect example of a coming together of sounds and visions, that gives rise to a whole that is so much more than each of the parts.

Yesterday I saw - and heard - 'The Sacrifice' (1986) again, Tarkovski's last one.
Through the thoughtful ('mindful') slowness of much of the visual 'action' all of the sounds (or even their absence) get an eery depth: wind, water, fire, the simple walking around, the moving about of objects.
The soundtrack also contains several very effective sound 'compositings': the apocalyptic noise of the 'nuclear planes' flying over, the 'final news broadcast' on Swedish television ...
Apart from, again, Bach -'Erbarme dich', from the Saint Matthew Passion - the only music used in the Sacrifice's soundtrack are a women's voice and the playing of a Japanese flute (apparently simply taken from a vinyl record), alone or mixed together.

[ Here's an interview with Owe Svensson, a Swedish sound engineer that worked on the Sacrifice soundtrack. ]

[ July 2011 - The Sound of Soviet Science Fiction ]

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