“I travel once a month somewhere in Germany and sing with people. I’ve been doing that for eight years now, in a choir. You could label it as ‘body-space-music’ (Körperraummusik) where you sing inside the body and take it in such a way that every cell in the body, from the sole of the foot to the crown of the head, starts to vibrate. In order to be able to realise this I have experimented to find where speech resonates in the body. The consonants vibrate at the body walls, the bones and flesh and the vowels fill the body spaces. And that sounds like a gong-concert: it also has a great therapeutic effect.”
Florian Fricke in an interview from 1989 on what is recorded on “Die Erde und ich sind eins” (“I am one with the earth”). And what you actually hear when listening to that record is a bunch of people breezing in and breezing out, humming: “Ahhhhhhh, Oooooohhh, Ommmmm…” – and, unintentional and from the outside, a church bell tolls after three minutes into the first meditation for about ten seconds. The title of that first meditation’s called “Gruppenseufzen zur Versöhnung der Erde mit dem Menschen” (“Collective sighing for the reconciliation between earth and man”) and it last for about 17:35 minutes.
I have no idea if the reconciliation was reached during past collective sighing sessions and I’m afraid to hook up with a collective sighing gang (if there are any) to give it a try. Even if Florian Fricke himself would be at my doorstep to invite me – I’d rather prefer not to join him. I’m not ready yet. I’m afraid I’d giggle all the time and ruin it: “Tip-toe through the tulips with me…”
On the contrary I highly suspect there must be some secret yearning inside me, a longing for a more spiritual experience/existence. – But I’m inhibited, insecure and wary and conflicted about the transcendental possibilities embedded in the musical experience and I guess it’s my inner Adorno that allows me to listen to all that Pandit Pran Nath, La Monte Young, Popol Vuh, late John Coltrane and whatnot sitting on my record shelf (even some good ole Johann Sebastian Bach!) – but until this day he also keeps me from becoming one with the earth. I’m afraid of singing/sighing along.
And I think I have to nurture my inner Joachim-Ernst Berendt until he’s strong enough to knock out that Frankfurt School bastard in me – at least from time to time. But until this day (will it ever come?) there’s just one thing for sure: I’m a miserable, buckled and anxiety-ridden guy collecting records. Instead of going to church on Sundays or to yoga-classes I can be seen at record fairs. My consecrated host is black and running on 33/45 rpm and I prefer to receive it in mint condition. Instead of a sip of communion Wine, I’d like to kill a whole bottle of cheap Beaujolais! Well, …
Of course, I’ve read quite a bit about the spiritual side of music, but I haven’t had any epiphany of any kind so far! For that reason “Die Erde und ich sind eins” is just an obscure and hard-to-find-record to me, which I like to listen to from time to time. But this isn’t a record to listen to, actually. It’s a more of an invitation to start singing and sighing (along or at all)! So it seems like I have to quit being bookish! I have to practice: “”Ahhhhhhh, Oooooohhh, Ommmmm…” You’ll be the first to know just in case my third eye opens – I’ll keep you posted!