Thursday, 29 September 2016
Pierre Courbois, Edgar M. Böhlke, Oskar Gottlieb Blarr - Free Music & Orgel -1969- (LP, Schwann AMS Studio), Germany/Holland
This record is linked to many other posts on the blog. Free Music & Orgel was a freeform endeavour to combine Christian church music with avant-garde, free-jazz and 'beat' music. The main composer behind it was the Dutch Pierre Courbois (to be found on the blog). Together with German organist Oskar Gottlieb Blarr, German narrator Edgar M. Böhlke, Dutch trumpetist Boy Raaymakers, Dutch sax player Peter van de Locht and Ferdi Rikkers on double bass a spontaneous project was recorded on October 13th and 14th, 1968 at Melanchthon-Kirche Düsseldorf and at Grote Kerk Arnhem.
This album showcases how the church tried to find new ways of connecting to the youth that was more and more being submerged in hippieness in the late sixties. An important figure in this German wave of the Christian krautrock-beat-mass genre was Nicaraguan priest-poet Ernesto Cardenal. His poems were also used on this album. Cardenal related things like the cosmic unity of the universe to Christ to use the hippie discourse for a Christian message, although politics are also important in this case.
The Christian Schwann label was quite adventurous with its releases. It also published the first two legendary Kluster albums. Somehow redemption was thought to be found in the experience of the free and abstract. But also in the popular culture, like Cardenals poem tells on this album: praise the lord of the milky ways and space between the milky ways with violins, with flutes and saxophone, praise him with blues and jazz, praise him with record players etc.
Musically I find this an amazing album where a sound reminiscent of Italian library music in the vein of Il Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza meets jazz, poetry and dark psychedelic sounds. It also comes close to the Risonanze series which I published before. It is almost a Christian take on the Dutch hyperrare cult psychedelic beat poetry album Woorden. I actually find the balance between the church organ and the church bells with the other instruments really impressive. Much more could be said about this album because it has so many implications and so many different musicians, but I'll keep the rest to you.
Get it HERE