Sunday, May 10, 2015

Woorden - 1968 - Woorden

Woorden 
1968
Woorden




01. Side A (Untitled) – 19:43
02. Side B (Untitled) – 18:22

Personnel:
– Hans Wesseling
– Simon Vinkenoog
– Bob Lens
– Nona



The highest freak out of the sixties, and possibly ever.
Two parts, near 20 minute both, in which the group recite poems and philosophy treatises in German and English, with altering-the-mind sounds surrounding them. These sounds are the most interesting thing of the album by a long shot.
The drums ran the gamut from Jazz, to Rock, to oriental gongs; violins are used in a typical avant-garde fashion but on the other hand rarely a harmonica has sounded so strangely evocative.

Poetry is abused here, often drug-induced and amateur "I am an actor / we are all actors in a theatre"; often hard to take any seriously "for I do not see I'm seeing/for I do not talk I'm talking", "you are the way to be green".
The second part has a folk lullaby that comes as a rest, after all that spoken word, and the album ends as it began: with no conclusion.
Conceptually it predates -partially- groups like Faust, but the development and main purpose of the album are too opaque to relate to any other project.

Overall "woorden" is too shocking and free-formed to forget it, and too pointless to be a masterpiece. At some points silly and pedantic, at some points brilliant, always disturbing, this is an irregular and extreme work, only for brave and patient listeners

Lijpe shit!

Douglas Leedy - 1969 - The Electric Zodiac

Douglas Leedy 
1969
 The Electric Zodiac




01. The Electric Zodiac (Part 1)    21:38
02. The Electric Zodiac (Part 2)    15:28

Subtitled "Music Of The Cosmos"

Synthesizer [Moog, Buchla], Effects [Ognob Generator] – Douglas Leedy




In my ongoing attempt to surprise readers, here's something quite different than anything I've posted before. While this is presented as psychedelic music among some record sellers (who will present almost anything as psychedelic) it's really early, avant-garde electronic music from a major figure in the development of computer music. His hair is on the long side, though, and he was influenced by Indian classical music, which also had a big influence on the direction psychedelic music took during this period.

At the time of the recording, Leedy was on the UCLA music faculty and he apparently designed and constructed the Electronic Music Studio there. Prior to that he had been a classmate (at UC Berkeley) and fellow traveler of Terry Riley & LaMonte Young (Pauline Oliveras was a student there too). Although, he had more classical training and less jazz experience, his music also has a modal and repetitive nature (at least on this release) that links him to those better known composers.

So what about this record? As the cover notes, it is "A continuum of music of the cosmos resting in a momentary position of influence composed and arranged for Moog and Buchla synthesizers and Ognob Generator by DOUGLAS LEEDY. There is no beginning there is no end no side one no side two." Personally, I'm not sure I see any relationship to the Zodiac in the music, although there may be some esoteric calculation in use relating to astrology. It is a pretty great piece of early electronic/moog music, very cyclic in nature and not overly dissonant (as some of the more early, avant-garde, electronica can sometimes be).

Douglas Leedy - 1968 - Entropical Paradise

Douglas Leedy
1968 
Entropical Paradise





01. Entropical Paradise I 20:14
02. Entropical Paradise II 20:28
03. White Landscape 20:00
04. The Harmonarium 19:40
05. Star Engine 21:00
06. Doria 20:50

Synthesizer [Moog, Buchla], Liner Notes – Douglas Leedy

Subtitled "Six Sonic Enviornments created on the Moog Synthesizer and Buchla Modular Electronic Music System by Douglas Leedy".



In 1960's many of the first synthesizer albums were composed by experimentalists like Douglas Leedy. Entropical Paradise can be compared with records like Subotnick's Silver Apples of the Moon, or Beaver and Krauses Ghandarva, or at least end up in the same cut-out bin with other avant-garde releases, but of all the early electronic albums unconcered with tradtional musical forms.
It wasn't until Tangerine Dream wedded minimalist music with avant-garde soundscapes that electronic music truly came alive. You can look at Entropical Paradise as a precursor to Phaedra.


(Photo: A. Basart)

Douglas Leedy (March 3, 1938 - March 28, 2015)


Born in Portland, Oregon, Leedy studied with Karl Kohn at Pomona College and at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was in a composition seminar with membership including La Monte Young and Terry Riley. An orchestral hornist, harpsichordist, and singer, he studied South Indian music in Madras with K. V. Narayanaswamy, North Indian vocal music with Pandit Pran Nath, and was first music director of the Portland Baroque Orchestra and the musical director of the 1985 Portland Handel Festival, during which he conducted complete, period-instrument performances of Handel's oratorios Jephtha and Theodora. He taught music at UCLA, the Centro Simon Bolivar (Caracas), and at Reed College. He founded the electronic music studio at UCLA, and his synthesized music was among the earliest commissioned album-length recordings of the Moog Synthesizer and Buchla Synthesizer. The triple album Entropical Paradise was both the first triple album of synthesized "musical environments" — perhaps the first recording of explicitly ambient music — and featured modular analog synthesizer patches that, once set, played without further intervention by the performer. (Excerpts from Entropical Paradise were also included in the soundtrack album to the film Slaughterhouse Five as atmospheric complements to the music by Bach that had been featured in the actual Glenn Gould-produced soundtrack).

Although briefly composing in an atonal, but not strictly serial, style, Leedy's music has been predominantly melodic and modal. His music has included theatrical and spatial or environmental elements (Exhibition Music, Decay), has had deep relationships to early music (The Leaves be Green, Symphoniae Sacrae), and he has explored the relationship, in classical Greek and Latin between text and music. In general, his music exhibits a lyrical, melodic style, and connects, through its use of modality, repetition, and intonation, to the same radical reassessment of musical materials and musical history underlying the movement that came to be known as minimalism, led by his colleagues Young and Riley. Following his studies in early western music and Indian music, and following the same musical path as his west coast American models, Harry Partch and Lou Harrison, Leedy made a decisive turn away from 12-tone equal temperament. He is a scholar of tuning systems and has composed for keyboard instruments in historical meantone temperament and in various systems of Just intonation. He has also proposed reconstructions of ancient Greek music, and has prepared, on historical-theoretic principles, settings for musical performance of Homer, Sappho, Pindar, and the Persai (The Persians) of Aeschylus.

Principal works include: Trio(1960) fl,hn,pf. Perspectives (1964) hn. Quintet 1964 cl,bn,tp,db,org. Antifonia (1965) 2tp,2tb. Decay (1965) theatre piece. Music for Percussion (1965) theatre piece. Usable Music for Very Small Instruments with Holes (1966). Usable Music II in Bb, (1966) chamber ensemble. 88 is Great (1969) pf 18 hands, Dulces exuviae (Dido's Lament after Virgil)(1969) ssaattbb. Teddy Bears Picnic (1969) theatre piece. Gloria (1970) s, satb, orch. Sebastian (1971–74) chamber opera. Music for Meantone Harpsichord (1974–86). Canti (1975) cb solo with fl, va, gui, mar, vib. Symphoniae sacrae (1976) ms,viola da gamba, hps. Hymns (Rg Veda)(1982) chorus, gamelan. Pastorale (1987) setting of an Ode of Horace for chorus and retuned piano in Just Intonation, four hands. Three Symphonies (1993) orch. without conductor, Piano Sonata 1994. Is This a Great Country, or What?(1995) multimedia. Hiroshima-Nagasaki 1945-2005 for tuned bowls or bells, crotales (2005).

From 2003, most of his music appeared under the name Bhishma Xenotechnites, including not only his settings for voice(s)and instruments (in Greek) of Homeric Hymns and other Greek and Latin lyrics but also such obviously anti-Western works as Ein kleines Wagner Notizbuch (2005), a collage of emasculated Wagner quotations for the same ensemble as his 1965 octet Quaderno Rossiniano, and H5N1 (2006) for extremely high-pitched instruments or whistlers and antique cymbals.

Daniel Wolf  has a tribute HERE

Charles Shere has a tribute HERE

Singing Ancient Greek can be read and downloaded HERE



Andrew Rudin - 1967 - Tragoedia

Andrew Rudin 
1967
Tragoedia




01. Tragoedia, movement 1, Kourous
02. Tragoedia, movement 2, Hybris
03. Tragoedia, movement 3, Peitho
04. Tragoedia, movement 4, Até



From the composer's website:

“Andrew Rudin has been an important presence in the local contemporary music scene for the past four decades. His contributions to the modern canon have been eagerly awaited and happily appreciated.”

    --Michael Caruso, Main Line Times, Philadelphia, Jan. 2007

Rudin’s reputation was established in the 1960’s through his association with Robert Moog and a pioneering series of synthesized compositions, most notably his Nonesuch album, Tragoedia. Throughout the 1970’s many of his compositions were theatrical in nature, involving collaborations with ballet and modern dance, film, television, and incidental music for the stage. His one-act opera, The Innocent was produced in Philadelphia in 1972 by Tito Capobianco. A number of these works blended electronically synthesized sound with traditional instruments and voices. Particularly of note among these works is the inclusion of his music in the soundtrack of the film Fellini: Satyricon. Among the dance groups and choreographers with whom he has worked are Dance Theatre Workshop, Jeff Duncan, Murray Louis, The Pennsylvania Ballet, London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Louis Falco, and four collaborations with Alwin Nikolais. The 1980’s saw the completion of his full-evening opera Three Sisters, on a libretto by William Ashbrook from the play by Chekhov, as well as many works for traditional instruments, both orchestral and chamber music. After his graduation from The University of Pennsylvania, where he studied primarily with George Rochberg, he joined the faculty of The Philadelphia Musical Academy, remaining there for the next thirty-seven years, as it eventually became part of the present University of the Arts. During this time he taught music history, theory, and composition, directed the new music ensemble, and headed the electronic music studio. He taught in the graduate division of the Juilliard School from 1981-1984. Since his retirement in 200l he has worked as a broadcaster for WWFM, The Classical Network from Mercer County Community College, and served on the board of directors for Philadelphia’s Orchestra 2001. He continues to compose extensively. His professional affiliation is BMI. He lives in Allentown, NJ with his partner, Tom Queenan.

This has to be one of the first Moog recordings out there. Andrew Rudin is very much part of the classical, technique-oriented school of electronic music. There's a very self-serious photo on the back of my LP along with thoughtful ruminations of the music and a short bio which states that Rudin taught at the Philadelphia Music Academy. Tragoedia is of a kin with Morton Subotnick's works and likely casts a spiteful eye on the more playful recordings of something like Perry and Kingsley. Be that as it may, this is pretty much one of those 'bleeps and bloops' sort of albums, and sometimes I have trouble justifying that this is much different than me dicking around on my Minimoog for 37 minutes. But I suppose that it's much better organized than that, at least on paper.

We've got four tracks here ranging from five to fifteen minutes and there's a ton of explanation for them in the liner notes than I'm too lazy to read. In my proletarian assessment, I'd say skip side one and go straight for side two. "Hybris" has some cool resonate Moog sounds, but once again I can dial that in on the Minimoog in 12 seconds or less (granted few people could do that in 1967). Side two is far more interesting in my humble opinion. "Peitho" is kind of like an insane, electrified "Flight of the Bumblebee." Better is the fifteen minute "Ate" (the 'e' has an accent but I'm not smart enough to know how to type it). The liner notes say it is "the quality of utter ruin and desolation resulting from (the first three tracks)." With the benefit of hindsight, I'd say it's more of a primitive precursor to Tangerine Dream's early long-form meditations. It's like an extra-planetary excursion much like a track such as "Alpha Centauri."

Igor Wakhevitch - 1979 - Let's Start

Igor Wakhevitch
1979
Let's Start



01. Let's Start (21:33)
02. Taddy's Fruit Garden (4:02)
03. Eriador (12:04)
04. Monks in the Snow (3:48)
05. Taddy's Dream : Ramallah's Road (8:15)

Igor Wakhevitch/keyboards



As obviously indicated by the album's beautiful cover art, Igor Wakhevitch has packed Let's Start with more dadaist/surrealist/avant-gardist electronic progressive music.

This album starts off with the title-track that sounds oddly optimistic for the first 2 minutes, but gradually becomes sinister with a doomy drone and a black pulse that makes way for ominous buzzing. This album is actually fairly optimistic for a Wakhevitch release, though, with its fair share of happy synth lines, and "Taddy's Fruit Garden" is even a beautiful (really) little ditty played on what sounds like it could be a toy piano - very John Cage-esque. "Taddy's Dream: Ramallah's Road" is a similar track, except longer with some floating bass-like synth lines added to the end. "Eriador" is almost like a jazzier Tangerine Dream sounding track played entirely on synths, and also is quite beautiful. "Monks In The Snow" is a windy and stark minimalist experimental electronic track that sounds much like today's experimental Italian underground scene.

Of all of the Igor Wakhevitch releases, this one is most diverse, featuring multiple textures in sound rather than just creating droney and ritualistic choral music with chamber orchestra arrangements. Another factor that makes this album stand out among Wakhevitch's other releases is that the vocals are used very sparingly, and only at the last few minutes of the first track. The vocals aren't singing, however - they're echoing, disembodied voices, only saying "I say let's start" over and over again until the words become a meaningless jumble of claustrophobic blackness.

Because of the optimistic and slightly less avant-garde tendencies of this album, this is probably the best to start with in Igor Wakhevitch's discography for accessibility reasons. Definitely a great album to end his career with, although I could always hope for more music in the future from this enigmatic weirdo.

Igor Wakhevitch - 1977 - Nagual (Les Ailes De La Perception)

Igor Wakhevitch 
1977 
Nagual (Les Ailes De La Perception)


01. Nagual (Les Ailes de la Perception) (5:20)
02. In the Nagual's Time (Flash I) (0:32)
03. Spenta Aramati (Ritual of the Zelator) (3:48)
04. Hunahpuguch (2:37)
05. Beginning of Peter's Journey (3:17)
06. Sets (Transition) (1:26)
07. The Smile of Wolf on the Bench (for Jorma) (4:43)
08. Never Poem for the Other (5:12)
09. In the Nagual's Time (Flash II) (1:45)
10. Stop the World (Rituel of Si-Wang-Mou) (5:45)
11. Cinderella (1:28)
12. Chirakan-Ixmucane (8:11)

Igor Wakhevitch/keyboards, synthesizers



This Igor Wakhevitch's album is a musical understanding of his readings of Carlos Castaneda's recountings of his "magical" encounters with mexican sorcerer "Don Juan". (To younger generations which are are not familiar with these teachings or books, imagine "Star Wars", "Matrix" and "H Potter", compressed, reloaded and FOR REAL!).

Anyway, I have not been fond of much of this musician's work, his opera-like electronics are not very much in my likings, and this work is not that easy to aquire. So after deciding to aquire it, I got to listen to it, with my expectations not that high. I found out a very astonishing Prog/Electronic album.

Not opera-like at all, it is almost an all "instrumental" album, with scarce human voices here and there. It could be in fact, the music for a "theater play" of these books, its "soundtrack". Of course its "not geographical exact" version, but not such a thing exists either way.

The concept itself, is far too extensive, as to single point each of its branches, so in able to compress the experience, Igor Wakhevitch, writes a wide variety of songs that hold on to the concept, but not to a single "style". He composes and plays: From "dark" experimental electro/acoustic songs to "noise" like ambients, to native like ritual music, to classical like piano or harp pieces, to pure and bright analog-electronic synth music, to folk-like (or his idea of mexican folk music) songs. All blended but not mixed-up. Every song is rich as unique, to stand alone or with the whole concept of the project.

Therefore it offers an almost "flawless" experience, and the best of all, are its highly inspiring and achieved, compositions and performances, without ever sounding pretentious at all.

Igor Wakhevitch - 1974 - Les Fous D'or

Igor Wakhevitch
1974
Les Fous D'or




01. Twilight and Call of the Ascending Spirit (5:51)
02. Arrival of the Magic Doll (5:02)
03. Rites of the Doll (8:41)
04. Henry the Fool of the Doll (3:00)
05. Eve Speaks (1:56)
06. Ritual of the Master of the Doll (13:10)

Igor Wakhevitch/keybaords, synthesizers
Eve Brenner/Soprano
Frédéric Lodéon/tenor
Henry Smith/vocals



Les Fous D'or follows in the same path established in Igor Wakhevitch's albums prior works, but includes minor differences. Les Fous D'or is much lighter chamber orchestra arrangements, and the music focuses completely on the intermingling between prominent experimental electronics and increasingly bizarre vocals. The electronic elements are much more important on this album, making up the "music" portion of this album. Avant-garde buzzing, cascading sequences of waterdrop-like synths, and ambient drones of blackness, all of which are collected in full on the finale "Ritual Of The Master Of The Doll", which is mostly an accumulation of the electronics portion of the album condensed into a single track. The vocals are much stranger on this album; they squeel, bark, scream and yell over the strange electronic soundscapes.

Again, another solid release from Igor Wakhevitch in the avant-electro-choral arena, if there is such a thing.

Igor Wakhevitch - 1973 - Hathor

Igor Wakhevitch 
1973 
Hathor


01. Hymne à Sathanael (aimantation des forces) (4:38)
02. Grand sabbat luciferien (régime des arches) (4:11)
03. Rituel de guerre des esprits de la terre (5:37)
04. Cris pour les sabbats infernaux et invocations des daimons (1:54)
05. Office de la levee du corps (De Profundis) (5:26)
06. Amenthi (attente de la seconde mort) (9:46)
07. Aurore (2:37)

Igor Wakhevitch/Keyboards, Synthesizing, Vocals
Ensemble Polyphonique , Guy Boyer , Michel Estellet-Brun , Le Groupe "Pachacamac"



This is a strange beast to say the least, and should probably be approached with caution. I mean, it feels like two different albums decided to work together, and out of this rather peculiar meeting came the weird and schizophrenic anomaly: Hathor.

Hathor was the Egyptian goddess of love, music and beauty - and bearing that in mind - projecting images of pyramids, solar devotion, high priests, magic and wonder, - then this album just might work for you, because most people will probably need some kind of help getting through the mystical and slightly avant garde world of Igor Wakhevitch.

This album is two faced like I said earlier, and on one hand you´ve got a hypnotic and trance inducing electronic Zeuhl music, that reminds me of both Art Zoyd´s Berlin and Popol Vuh´s In den Gärten Pharaos. You know that staccato and tribal percussion - building and building, sounding like music should to a 20th century Indian Shaman - accompanied by some spooky frog-like synthwork that jumps rhythmically every now and again. -On the other hand half of this album contains what can only be described as an evil ritualistic mass - done with electronics and various ominous sounding choir voices. These shift from deep bellowing chanting monks to operatic and dramatic sequences as well as spoken word poetry and whispering voices casting long forgotten spells.

Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde you say? Not entirely, but the outer extremes of both these sonic personalities are thankfully interwoven in Wakhevitch´s completely original way of creating atmospheres through electronics. All the pieces are soaked in all kinds of synths and moogs, but you certainly won´t hear a keyboard solo - what he does is more like laying down a foundation of brooding and evocative surfaces - sounding like he´s summoning magic overhead the majestic presence of the Sphinx. At other times he merely adds colour and juice to the tracks through noises and bleeps, which range from underground moog burps to what sounds like electronic frantic grasshoppers, cockroaches and buzzing robotic flies - all weaving about in ecstasy.

I was listening to this during a power cut just an hour ago, and I finally saw the light inside my darkened apartment. The goddess of love didn´t exactly descend from her solar empire, but I did imagine all these wonderful images of an Egyptian death mass from the insides of a holy temple of stone with beautiful brown women wearing gold - moving like serpents, High priestesses with red feline eyes and a large gathering of devotional followers all chanting along with the powerful electronic orchestra banging away to the far right of the enormous altar of Hathor.

Igor Wakhevitch - 1971 - Docteur Faust

Igor Wakhevitch
1971 
Docteur Faust


01. Aimantation (0:25)
02. Materia Prima (10:12)
03. Eau Ardente (4:24)
04. Tenebres (Walpurgis) (4:52)
05. Matines (3:53)
06. Licornes (2:33)
07. Sang Pourpre (3:55)

Igor Wakhevitch/keyboards, synthesizers



Docteur Faust is the wonderful sophomore album from electronic avant-garde composer Igor Wakhevitch. After the electronically manipulated and bizarre sounding spoken- word introduction that immediately sets this album off on a whim of uneasiness, the wonderful 10-minute long "Materia Prima" begins and the central elements of this album become clear: chamber orchestra arrangements with profound influence from 20th century composers and stark avant-gardist sonic electro-experimentation of the weirdest variety, with occasional dramatic vocals and additional elements from krautrock. All of these factors really intertwine flawlessly to create what basically sounds like an experimental-electronic-rock-symphony. All of the traditional progressive electronic elements are here (droning, buzzing, etc.) but the equal parts of psychedelic krautrock flavor really make this album a unique listening experience, and avant-gardists should definitely take note of this artist and this album in particular.

Igor Wakhevitch - 1970 - Logos

Igor Wakhevitch
1970 
Logos


01. Ergon (3:59)
02. Mineral - Vegetal - Animal (4:40)
03. Homo-Sapiens Ignorabimus (4:43)
04. Initiation I (2:43)
05. Initiation II (6:28)
06. Delirium (2:23)
07. Danse Sacrale (6:08)
08. Point Omega (mort ou resurrection) (2:03)

Igor Wakhevitch/keyboards, synthesizers



An Olivier Messiaen pupil, Igor is one of the more esoteric artistes of the French 70's, with his legendary six avant-garde (almost musique concrète) albums, of which Logos is the first. This first project was actually the music for a modern ballet of Schmuki to be performd at the Avignon Festival of that same year. Oddly enough, despite the highly experimental nature of his music, all six albums of his were released on major labels, but I doubt that they hardly exposed to the mainstream public. His debut was released on the Pathé major label (for France, anyway) and featured an "atomic or molecular artwork, on top of also gusting the entire Triangle pop-rock group (also on the Pathé label) as a back up band.

Opening on a very 2001 Space Odyssey piece with eerie choirs and electronic music that could be labelled as "concrete", Ergon gives a good idea of Igor's fascination and fixation. The following piece describing the three reigns (Mineral-Vegetal and Animal) is no less abstract a description, when one could've imagined more organic soundscapes. Only sporadic drumming holds you back from sliding into insanity. If you can imagine Floyd's studio disc of Umma Gumma soundscapes on acid, you're getting close to Igor's fantasies. The HS Ignorabimus is closer to a space rock with a classical violin. The following Initiation (cut in two parts for time constraint reasons on the vinyl) is no more accessible, resembling to some bizarre sect initiation done by a drugged out shaman. The album-longest Danse Sacrale is definitely where you hear that Igor was thinking "rock" as well, because you finally get the full Triangl group for a few minutes, with Jeanneau's piano, Lorenzini's guitar and Fournier's bass on top of Prévotat's drums. They sound a bit like a cross of Magma and the future Art Zoyd band. The short closing Omega piece is an extremely doomy rock piece as well.

Please note that if you're familiar with Triangle's pop-rock discography, you'd have a hard time recognizing the same band. One can only dream about what the band would've achieved had they been more artistically ambitious rather than commercially ambitious. Anyway, Igor's Logos is a highly-lauded experimental affair, but it is mostly bound to remain in the shadow of obscurity. I guess the present album would be even more interesting when viewing the ballet it came with, but it doesn't hurt the music if it stands alone.

Salvador Dali & Igor Wakhevitch - 1974 - Etre Dieu

Salvador Dali & Igor Wakhevitch
1974
Etre Dieu




101. Oberture Et Première Entrée    22:12
102. Deuxième Entrée Ou La Lutte Avec L'Ange    22:12

201. Troisième Entrée Et Première Sortie    24:25
202. Le Rêve Passe    23:33

301. Quatrième Entrée Ou La Profession De Foi    27:42
302. Final Et Seconde Sortie    25:00

Être Dieu: opéra-poème, audiovisuel et cathare en six parties (French for "Being God: a Cathar Audiovisual Opera-Poem in Six Parts") is a self-proclaimed "opera-poem" written by Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí, based on a libretto by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán with music by French avant-garde musician Igor Wakhévitch. It was originally published in 1985. (Wikipedia).

Line-up / Musicians
- Salvador Dalí / vocals
- Jean Luc Bentolila / keyboards
- Sylvio Gualda / percussion
- Francois Auger / percussion
- Marc Ripoche / violin
- Raymond Gérôme / vocals
- Delphine Seyrig / vocals
- Alain Cuny / vocals
- Didier Batard / E-Bass
- Jean Pierre Castelain / E-guitar
- Catherine Allegret / narrator
- Didier Haudepin / narrator
- Symphonic Orchestra Paris

Brunswick (recorded 1974; released 1989)

   

An opera scored by a pupil of Olivier Messiaen for voices, orchestra and rock group that features the librettist as God, Brigitte Bardot as an artichoke and Marilyn Monroe doing a striptease. Sounds too good to be true? Well, read on....

Salvador Dalí created Être Dieu: opéra-poème, audiovisuel et cathare en six parties (Being God: a Cathar Audiovisual Opera-Poem in Six Parts) from a libretto by the Catalan author Manuel Vázquez Montalbán (1939-2003). The score is by the French composer Igor Wakhévitch (b.1948). His teachers included Pierre Schaeffer and Terry Riley as well as Messiaen and among other influences on his music are Robert Wyatt and the music of Soft Machine. An album of Être Dieu, which is scored for speakers, singers, orchestra and rock band, was recorded on 3 LPs for the now defunct Spanish Dolor Del Estamago label (cover art here) and was subsequently transferred to CD by the German Eurostar label but is long deleted. I can find no information on live performances of the opera although a 2004 article mentions a forthcoming production at Montjuïc, Barcelona which was to be followed by a world tour. There is also a listing for a 2002 Spanish TV documentary about Être Dieu.

The official Dalí biography gives a publication date of 1985 for Être Dieu while other sources confirm the recording date as 1974. At least two sources say the libretto was started by Dalí in 1927 in collabaration with Federico Garcia Lorca. Copies of the CD transfer can be found at premium prices (I know how much I paid for mine, so does my wife... it comes up every now and then). Surely this is a re-issue opportunity? - even if one commentator described the opera as "Pretty much the same as Wakhévitch’s other work, with the added bonus of the Surrealist master declaiming and frequently shrieking over the music". Igor Wakhévitch discovered the ragas of Pandit Pran Nath while studying with Terry Riley and he moved to Auroville in South India in 1980. Auroville is named after the Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo whose ideas inspired the experimental community.
Dalí's art has many musical subtexts. Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, Bizet's The Pearl Fishers and the medieval liturgical drama Misteri d'Elx regale visitors to the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain. This high class muzak was chosen by Dalí himself and the sub-texts are interesting. His paranoiac ballet Mad Tristan to Wagner's music was created for the 1939 New York World Fair, but the relevance of the distinctly non-surrealist Pearl Fishers is unclear, although Dalí was known to be a fan of Carmen. The link to the Misteri d'Elx comes from a performance that the artist attended in 1973. The sacred music drama, which dates from 1625, is performed in the southern Spanish city of Elche in August each year and is a UNESCO masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. A recording of the music by the Ensemble Gilles Binchois is available as is Jordi Savall's 'homage' which breaks from performance tradition by introducing female voices.


This is an obsessional, decadent, surrealist, provocative, grotesque, mystical, erotic musical comedy with Salvador Dali narratives, improvisations (in French). The music perfectly serves Dali and others actors' voices with a medley of strange synthesiser loops, creepy lysergic ambiences, expressionist string orchestra arrengements, percussive abstractions. This is clearly a visual work for the ears and gorgeously impregnated of mental pictures and dreamlike suggestions. An intriguing, ambitious audiovisual exhibition that remains really avant gardist with many ideas and a different atmosphere for each scene. Not a progressive rock classic but a historical phenomenon with a rather unique eccentric abstract musical painting

Dali began to write the libretto for this “opera” in 1927 together with Federico Garcia Lorca one afternoon in the Café Regina Victoria, Madrid.  They were likely dining on psychedelic Psilocybin mushrooms.  In 1974 Dali made a record of the opera in Paris for which Igor
 Wakhevitch wrote the music and the Spanish writer Manuel Vazquez Montalban made the libretto. There is a prog-rock part played by a band featuring J.P. Castelain, J.J. Flety, Didier Batard, François Auger,J. L. Bentolila and M. Ripoche.



Igor Wakhevitch (born in Gassin-Saint Tropez, France), son of the art director Georges Wakhevitch is an avant-garde French composer who released a series of studio albums in the 1970s and composed the music of the only opera imagined by the legendary genius painter Salvador Dalí: Être Dieu' ("To Be God"). Igor Wakhevitch was a contemporary of similar avant-garde electronic composers, such as Pierre Henry, who was born and based in Paris. Igor Wakhevitch himself a brilliant classical pianist was one of the first composer of his generation to introduce in his compositions various kind of electronic keyboards, moog synthesizer, synthi aks, arp synthesizer, "ondes martenot", electronic organ, etc. : some of his albums, as "Logos" or "Hathor" "Let's Start" are amongst the most impressive albums of experimental music released in France in the 70's. By many all over the world he is considered as a genius. But certainly a very creative soul in a perpetual search of sounds of power and for a new kind of sacred music, cosmic oriented, Igor finding his inspiration from the mother nature and cosmic forces, telluric energies, occult sounds and sacred scriptures as well.

From the age of eight, Igor Wakhevitch learned to play piano under the tutelage of Marguerite Long the legendary French classical pianist and [Lucette Descaves].[1] Between the ages of 12 and 17, he studied at the Paris National Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance Conservatoire de Paris. During this time, he was auditioned by the symphonic orchestra conductor, the Herbert von Karajan at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and in 1965 he was 17 only when he won the jury's first prize for piano by a unanimous vote. In 1967, studying at the Paris National Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance under the direction of the great French composer of the 20th century Olivier Messiaen, Wakhevitch won the first prize in musical analysis. In 1968, he worked for the GRM in the Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française under the direction of Pierre Schaeffer.

Wakhevitch was a part of the 1970s atmosphere of musical integration and boundary crossing. He was a friend of the legendary British rock psychedelic band Pink Floyd and also a very close friend of the French choreographer Maurice Béjart who encouraged him to compose for contemporary dance, while his second album, Doctor Faust was dedicated to his friends Robert Wyatt and Mike Ratledge, the two leaders of the British psychedelic rock band The Soft Machine. At the middle of the 1970s, Wakhevitch became a friend and studied with the minimalist American composer Terry Riley, producing Riley's soundtrack album Les Yeux Fermés for Warner Brothers. Through Riley, Wakhevitch discovered the ragas of Pandit Pran Nath.[2] During almost ten years, Igor Wakhevitch has been the composer of many dance-theatre creations of the great American dancer-choreographer Carolyn Carlson at the National Opera of Paris and in many other theaters and festivals worldwide; ref. Igor Wakhevitch's biography on IGOR WAKHEVITCH OFFICIAL WEBSITE. www.wakhevitch.com

In 1974, Salvador Dalí asked Igor Wakhevitch to compose the music of his 'opera-poem in six parts' entitled "To Be God". The album was recorded in the Studios of EMI in Boulogne, performed by various actors, speakers and singers, a string orchestra, choir, soprano soloist Eve Brenner, and a rock band which featured the actors Raymond Gérôme, Delphine Seyrig, Catherine Allegret, Alain Cuny and Didier Haudepin;[3] and musicians Michel Ripoche on violin, Didier Batard on bass and François Auger on drums.[4] Igor Wakhevitch visited India for the first time in 1973 and later moved to Auroville in South India in 1977. In 1991 he had a 30 minutes private audience in Dharmsala India with the 14th Dalai-Lama Tenzin Gyatso, an unforgettable moment in the private apartment of the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, producing and organizing the first visit in Europe of the "Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts" (TIPA), a tour in France and Spain and two months performance in Paris at the famous Theatre du Rond-Point (ex Theatre Renaud-Barrault)

In 2007 Igor started to work as an artist manager and agent for Europe with some of the most famous legendary classical musicians of India, as Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia (living national treasure of India), the legendary sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Zakir Hussain, the superstar of the tabla, the genius santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, the singers maestros of dhrupad, Ramakant and Umakant Gundecha and brother Akilesh on the pakhawaj (the Gundecha Brothers), the great voices of North India, as Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty, Ustad Rashid Khan, Pandit Rajan and Sajan Misra from Varanasi, Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, and also the greatest soloist musicians amongst the new generation of Indian Classical musicians, as bansuri bamboo flute prodigy Shashank (Igor's close friend), the young lady singer Kaushiki Chakrabarty (one of the greatest voices of India nowadays), Purbayan Chatterjee (sitar), Raul Sharma (santoor), Subhra Guha, etc.; ... and the fantastic drums ensemble "The Sacred Drums of India".

Igor Wakhevitch composed also for many dance and theatre creations in India, mostly in Mumbai (National Center of Performing Arts, Tata Theatre, Gœthe Institute-Max Mueller Bhavan and in Auroville on the stage of the Sri Aurobindo Auditorium ("The Golden Light", choreography by Paolo Pereira, "Amravati", choreography by Peter Morin from the National Opera of Paris, "Harichandra", written and directed by his close friend the young actor-director-writer K. Parthasarathy, etc.; ... and many other pieces of music purposely composed to celebrate the Auroville's Birthday at dawn (28 February), bonfire and live performances or recorded music at the Auroville's outdoor Amphitheater, and many other profound moments of his music for community gathering and mediation in various settlements of the city.