Alexandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain original soundtrack (1973) – Music composed by Alexandro Jodorowsky, Ronald Frangipane & Don Cherry – abkco records/ Real Gone Music RGM-0301 (double vinyls) [1/6/15] ***:
Alexandro Jodorowsky’s The Dance of Reality original soundtrack (2014) – Music composed by Adan Jodorowsky – abkco records/ Real Gone Music RGM-0302 (vinyl) [1/6/15] ****:
Partly due to the success of the amazing documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, which we reviewed, Chilean cult filmmaker Alejando Jodorowsky has gained much attention. Following up on the vinyl release of the soundtrack music to his original big hit El Topo, which we also reviewed, abkco has here mastered the original soundtracks of both Jodorowsky’s next film back then, as well as that of his recent film – 23 years later – The Dance of Reality.
This is the first time both have been released on vinyl, with the mastering done by Joe Yannece and Carl Rowatti at Trutone Mastering. The double-vinyl album of the 1973 film has plenty of space for stills from the production, and many quotes from Jodorowsky himself – who, as in the Dune documentary – is always a kick to see or hear expressing himself. He sort of threw together the score for The Holy Mountain just as he did some of the visuals, and felt that the multitude of musical styles he used transformed the spirituality of his images into spiritual music. (It’s quite amazing what he got some of those extras in Mexico to do for his camera.) He engaged Frangipane (who had done the score for a porno film) and wild jazzman Don Cherry (who played with Ornette Coleman and others) to help him create this almost stream-of-consciousness score. Jodorowsky recalled Frangipane conducting the rhythm, “and I myself behind him…conducting the feeling of the orchestra.”
But there’s a grand design to the way the score to this odd film is stitched together. Jodorowsky said in an interview “The music speaks as much as the image. It doesn’t accompany it; they’re both part of the creation together.” He says “That’s why I used religious music, primitive music, spiritual music. It was real!” His idea was to get as far away as possible from “Hollywood-style music.” But a strong sarcasim is in there as well. In the track ”Miniature Plastic Bomb Shop” he seems to be rehearsing the theme for the TV series Mad Men.
1. Trance Mutation
2. Pissed and Passed Out
3. Violence of the Lambs
4. Drink It
5. Christs 4 Sale
6. Cast Out and Pissed
7. Eye of the Beholder
9. Rainbow Room
10. Alchemical Room
11. Tarot Will Teach You/Burn Your Money
12. Mattresses, Masks and Pearls
13. Isla (The Sapphic Sleep)
14. Psychedelic Weapons
15. Rich Man in a Fishbowl
16. Miniature Plastic Bomb Shop
17. Fuck Machine
18. Baby Snakes
19. A Walk in the Park
20. Mice and Massacre
21. City of Freedom
23. The Climb/Reality (Zoom Back Camera)
24. Pantheon Bar (Bees Make Honey…)
The Dance of Reality marks the return of the visionary filmmaker after all these years, and it’s soundtrack music this time is by his son Adan, who is a composer and arranger in his own right. The film is autobiographical, with a young Jodorowsky confronted by a bunch of compelling characters, including a very strict Communist father and a very religous big bosomed mother who sings everything like grand opera rather than speaking. Jodorowsky filmed it in the coastal town next to the Chilean desert, where he was born. Naturally, it achieves surreal qualities in its mixture of mythology, metaphor and poetry. Jodorowsky believes that reality is not the objective world around us but a “dance” which our own imagination creates. And he certainly has plenty of imagination. He puts himself into the film as a sort of god/father figure who holds and comforts the young Jodorowsky. Roger Ebert loved this film.
The soundtrack music appealed to me because much of it sounds like a sort of raw version of Nino Rota’s wonderful scores for Fellini movies – one of my favorites. This especially fits the scenes with the clown and the giant bee. Speaking of Italian filmmakers, Jodorowsky doesn’t just mildy satirize Catholicism – he takes on organized religion of all sorts with gusto and with absolutely nothing barred. He’s not afraid to show anything at all, no matter how distasteful it may be to viewers. The 16 tracks on the vinyl have a connection and flow that is not found on the Holy Mountain score. It’s been decribed by Jodorowsky as “alternately lush and comical, brooding and wistful.” And let’s not forget the surreal part. Fidelity as up to the usual audiophile vinyl standards.
2. The Clowns
4. Ibanez orgasm
5. Carlito’s Death
6. The Wave
7. Shoes Dance
8. God Doesn’t Exist
9. Los Mineros
11. Jaime and Bucéfalo
12. Bucéfalo Dies
16. The Midget
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