Florian Fricke

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Florian Fricke
FlorianFricke.jpg
Fricke (centre) with Popol Vuh
Background information
Born(1944-02-23)23 February 1944
Lindau am Bodensee, Germany
Died29 December 2001(2001-12-29) (aged 57)
Munich, Germany
Genres Krautrock, electronic music, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, art rock, new-age, ambient, neo-classical, world
InstrumentsPiano, synthesizer
Labels Liberty, Pilz, Kosmische Musik, United Artists, PDU, Milan, Spalax, OHR, Brain
Associated acts Popol Vuh, Gila, Tangerine Dream

Florian Fricke (23 February 1944 – 29 December 2001) was a German musician who started his professional career with electronic music using the Moog synthesizer within the krautrock group Popol Vuh. His music and that of the band however soon evolved in a completely different direction, and he almost completely abandoned synthesizers in favor of the acoustic piano. [1]

Contents

History

Born in Lindau am Bodensee, Germany on 23 February 1944, Fricke started playing piano as a child. [1] He studied piano, composition and directing at the Conservatories in Freiburg and Munich. [1] It was in Munich that, at 18, he dedicated himself to new kinds of music like free jazz. [1] He also filmed some short amateur films. (He would later become a movie and music critic for the German magazine Der Spiegel and the Swiss paper Neue Zürcher Zeitung). It was also in Munich that he met Gerhard Augustin, who for many years would be his producer. [1]

In 1967 he met German film director Werner Herzog and the two formed a lifelong friendship. Fricke played a role in his first movie Lebenszeichen (1968). Fricke was later responsible for the soundtracks of several of Herzog's movies, among them Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (with Klaus Kinski and Bruno Ganz), Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Heart of Glass . [2] Fricke also made a cameo appearance in Herzog's Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle (1974).

Fricke was one of the first musicians to own and use a Moog III synthesizer, with which he recorded Popol Vuh's first two albums "Affenstunde" and "In den Gärten Pharaos". His recordings with the instruments left an indelible mark on German electronic music. [1] However, he later significantly gave his Moog to fellow German musician Klaus Schulze and largely renounced electronic music in favor of often-acoustic tones.

In 1970, together with Holger Truelzsch and Frank Fiedler, he founded the group Popol Vuh. [1] The name is taken from a Mayan manuscript (see "Popol Vuh"). [1] [3] Fricke was the leader of the group until his death, almost always together with guitarist and drummer Daniel Fichelscher. Fricke also recorded an album of Mozart compositions. [1]

Besides working on his own music, Fricke collaborated with many German musicians. In 1972 he played on Tangerine Dream's Zeit double album and collaborated with Renate Knaup of Amon Düül II. Together with Fichelscher, from 1973 to 1974 he was a member of former Popol Vuh guitarist Conny Veit's band Gila. In 1992 he recorded an album of Mozart compositions. [1] In the 1998 he organized audio/video installations, among them "Messa di Orfeo" in the Italian city of Molfetta. [1] Beginning in the '70s, Fricke dedicated himself to musicotherapy. He also developed an original form of therapy called the "Alphabet of the Body". [4]

Together with former Popol Vuh member Frank Fiedler, who was a competent cameraman, Fricke produced a series of films of spiritual inspiration set in the Sinai desert, Israel, Lebanon, Mesopotamia, Morocco, Afghanistan, Tibet and Nepal. [1] [5]

Fricke died of a stroke in Munich in 2001, at the age of 57.

In October 2003 Klaus Schulze wrote:

"Florian was and remains an important forerunner of contemporary ethnic and religious music. He chose electronic music and his big Moog to free himself from the restraints of traditional music, but soon discovered that he didn't get a lot out of it and opted for the acoustic path instead. Here, he went on to create a new world, which Werner Herzog loves so much, transforming the thought patterns of electronic music into the language of acoustic ethno music." [6]

Florian Fricke solo albums

For his albums with Popol Vuh, see Popol Vuh.

Related Research Articles

Popol Vuh were a German musical collective founded by keyboardist Florian Fricke in 1969 together with Frank Fiedler, Holger Trülzsch (percussion), and Bettina Fricke. 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 the K'iche' people people of highland Guatemala; the name has been translated roughly as "meeting place" or "book of the community".

<i>Aguirre</i> (soundtrack) 1975 studio album by Popol Vuh

Aguirre is the seventh album by German band Popol Vuh. It contains music used in the soundtrack to Werner Herzog's film Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), first released as an album in 1975 on Ohr, and reissued in 2004 by SPV with one bonus track. This score was the first of many filmic collaborations between the group and Herzog. Only two tracks are from the film; the rest were gathered from various recordings done by the group during the period 1972–74, including alternative versions of two songs originally released on the band's 1974 album, Einsjäger und Siebenjäger.

<i>Affenstunde</i> 1970 studio album by Popol Vuh

Affenstunde is the first album by German band Popol Vuh. Originally released in 1970 in Germany by Liberty Records, it has been reissued several times by various international labels. The 2004 German SPV edition features one previously unreleased bonus track. It is a notable early example of the Moog synthesizer being used for the production and composition of original music.

<i>In den Gärten Pharaos</i> 1971 studio album by Popol Vuh

In den Gärten Pharaos is the second album by German band Popol Vuh, released in 1971 by record label Pilz.

<i>Hosianna Mantra</i> 1972 studio album by Popol Vuh

Hosianna Mantra is the third album by German band Popol Vuh. It was originally released in 1972 on the German record label Pilz. The album saw the band blend elements of Western classical music, Asian music, and space rock. For the release, bandleader Florian Fricke abandoned electronic synthesizers and instead employed acoustic instruments such as piano, oboe, and tambura. Prominently featured are Korean vocalist Djong Yun and electric guitarist Conny Veit.

<i>Seligpreisung</i> 1973 studio album by Popol Vuh

Seligpreisung is the fourth album by German band Popol Vuh. It was originally released in 1973 on record label Kosmische Musik. The title is the German name for the Beatitudes, from Christ's Sermon on the Mount.

<i>Einsjäger und Siebenjäger</i> 1974 studio album by Popol Vuh

Einsjäger und Siebenjäger is the fifth album by Popol Vuh. It was originally released in 1974 on Kosmische Musik. In 2004 SPV re-released the album with two bonus tracks. "Wo bist Du?" was originally released on Popol Vuh's album Die Nacht der Seele as "Wo bist Du, der Du überwunden hast?".

<i>Das Hohelied Salomos</i> 1975 studio album by Popol Vuh

Das Hohelied Salomos is the sixth album by Popol Vuh. It was originally released in 1975 on United Artists Records. In 2005 SPV re-released the album with three bonus tracks.

<i>Letzte Tage – Letzte Nächte</i> 1976 studio album by Popol Vuh

Letzte Tage – Letzte Nächte is the eighth album by Popol Vuh. It was originally released in 1976 on United Artists Records. In 2005 SPV re-released the album with three bonus tracks.

<i>Herz aus Glas</i> (album) 1977 soundtrack album by Popol Vuh

Herz aus Glas is the ninth album by Popol Vuh. It was originally released in 1977 on Brain Records. In 2005 SPV re-released the album with two bonus tracks. This album was released as the original motion picture soundtrack of Heart of Glass by German director Werner Herzog, but in fact only two tracks were actually featured in the film.

<i>Nosferatu</i> (Popol Vuh album) 1978 soundtrack album by Popol Vuh

Nosferatu is the eleventh album by Popol Vuh and was released as the original motion picture soundtrack of Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht by director Werner Herzog. It was originally released in 1978. In 2004 SPV re-released the album with a slightly different track list and adding four tracks originally released on the Popol Vuh album Brüder des Schattens – Söhne des Lichts.

<i>Brüder des Schattens – Söhne des Lichts</i> 1978 studio album by Popol Vuh

Brüder des Schattens – Söhne des Lichts is the tenth album by Popol Vuh. It was originally released in 1978 on Brain Records. In 2006 SPV re-released the album with one bonus track that was originally released on the remix compilation Sing, for Song Drives Away the Wolves in 1993. The first two tracks from this album were used for the soundtrack of Werner Herzog's film Nosferatu the Vampyre.

<i>Die Nacht der Seele</i> 1979 studio album by Popol Vuh

Die Nacht der Seele is the twelfth album by Popol Vuh. It was originally released in 1979 on Brain Records. In 2005 SPV re-released the album with four bonus tracks. "Engel der Luft" and "Im Reich der Schatten" were used in 1982 for the soundtrack of Werner Herzog's film Fitzcarraldo.

<i>Sei still, wisse ich bin</i> 1981 studio album by Popol Vuh

Sei still, wisse ICH BIN is the thirteenth album by Popol Vuh. It was originally released in 1981 on Klaus Schulze's record label Innovative Communication. In 2006 SPV re-released the album with one bonus track. "Wehe Khorazin", "Garten der Gemeinschaft", an extract of "Laß los" and "... als lebten die Engel auf Erden" were used in 1982 for the soundtrack of Werner Herzog's film Fitzcarraldo.

<i>Agape – Agape</i> 1983 studio album by Popol Vuh

Agape – Agape / Love – Love is the fourteenth album by Popol Vuh. It was originally released in 1983 on Uniton. In 2004 SPV re-released the album with one bonus track.

<i>Spirit of Peace</i> 1985 studio album by Popol Vuh

Spirit of Peace is the fifteenth album by Popol Vuh. It was originally released in 1985 on Cicada. The first track was used by Werner Herzog as original motion picture soundtrack for his documentary The Dark Glow of the Mountains about Reinhold Messner.

<i>Cobra Verde</i> (soundtrack) 1987 soundtrack album by Popol Vuh

Cobra Verde is the sixteenth album by Popol Vuh. It was originally released in 1987 on Milan Records as the original motion picture soundtrack of Werner Herzog's Cobra Verde with Klaus Kinski. In 2006 SPV re-released the album with one bonus track.

<i>City Raga</i> 1995 studio album by Popol Vuh

City Raga is the eighteenth album by Popol Vuh. It was originally released in 1995 on Milan Records.

<i>Shepherds Symphony – Hirtensymphonie</i> 1997 studio album by Popol Vuh

Shepherd's Symphony – Hirtensymphonie is the nineteenth album by Popol Vuh. It was originally released in 1997 on Mystic Records. In 2004 SPV re-released the album with a different cover. The 1995 semi-documentary Kailash – Pilgerfahrt zum Thron der Götter, directed by Popol Vuh member Frank Fiedler, includes several edited version of the tracks that would later be released on the album.

Wolf Conrad "Conny" Veit was a German musician, singer, composer and painter, best known for his appearances in Gila and Popol Vuh. His main instrument was the guitar. His name was misspelled "Conny Veidt" in Gila's first album.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "Popol Vuh Biographie" (in German). MusikBase. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
  2. Music for Films by Werner Herzog from popolvuh.nl retrieved on December 5, 2008
  3. The German group should not be confused with the homonymous rock band from Norway (see: Popol Ace )
  4. Das Alphabet des Körpers, interview with Fricke in popolvuh.nl retrieved on December 5, 2008 (in German)
  5. Florian Fricke's Filmography from popolvuh.nl, retrieved on December 5, 2008
  6. Klaus Schulze, Oldau, October 7, 2003: Booklet to CD re-issue of "Hosianna Mantra", SPV recordings, 2004