Tangerine Dream in Contemporary Keyboard, 1981.

Tangerine Dream’s Peter Baumann and Edgar Froese on their Sorcerer score. From Contemporary Keyboard magazine, April 1981. The image above is the Italian soundtrack LP. Thanks to Jacob’s Tangerine Dream blog.

Peter Baumann: “The soundtrack itself, we like, but we didn’t like the way it was used. We think that if it had been used the way we thought it should be used, the way it was composed and felt, then it could have fit very well into the picture. But the way it was put in was very different from the way we saw it before. The film was disappointing.”

Edgar Froese: “We really loved the script, which we were qiven before the film was shot. We were asked to compose the music without seeing the film. I think Friedkin is one of the greatest directors, but the final cutting of the film and the way the last five minutes had our music fade in and out seemed totally impractical to us.”

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I'm a writer. And a dad. And a husband. And a record collector. And a movie geek (if the movies are old). And I really wish I had a hot rod.
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4 Responses to Tangerine Dream in Contemporary Keyboard, 1981.

  1. Andy King says:

    I: “Pulsating relentless like a recurring nightmare. Centaurs throb within blood crossing arties of storming cavalries that crash through the top of your head. Recycle and recur. Again and again. Reminding of white suns eclipsing oceans of stars shrieking through the midnight dawn. Never ending, Without warning’…that’s on the back of the album, (laughs) I think it’s really incredible”

    PB: “Yeah it is”

    I: “Tell us about how the music fits in with that? I felt when I listened to the music, I felt the poem were the lyrics that might have gone with it, and that’s why I read it”

    PB: “Yes, I like it also very much and I think does suit the music very well. We didn’t write it on the record, it was William Friedkin. We met him, I think it must be three years ago, when we were recording Rubycon and he visited us in the studio and we had talks together, he talked about his new projects and he wanted to have music for his new film and we really had the feeling that he got into the music and that he liked it very much, and this might very well understood in America but if you have poems like this in Europe but then…um…then the people are not so very sure whether you want to sell the album or not, it’s very, very dangerous to do a something like that.”

    I-“Really, why is that?”

    PB: “Well the people, they are not that open in Europe, they would think that this is just absolutely superficial and they just want to show-off or something like this.”


    PB: “It’s really true”

    I-“I got the feeling that, probably because I don’t live there (laughs) I thought that Europe was more open minded, more arty”

    PB: “Well ‘Arty’ is something else, and open minded in the ‘common sense’, I mean if you think to many people this album does go, you get a certain type of image with a poem like that, it really has to have long explanation, or the image of a group needs to be very set, until you can do something like that. That’s why we haven’t done it up to now. I’m very happy that’s on there, as it’s on the right place and it’s by the right person”

    I-“William Friedkin, wrote on here that your music was a major inspiration for the film the Sorcerer and that he felt the film and the score are inseparable, you didn’t even see the movie even when you’d written it . How did it work, how did you do it?

    PB: “Yeah, As I said before, we talked to William Friedkin and we thought he got very much into the music and he sent us the script and we read it, well our imaginations started very fast (laughs), the film was finished for us in a very short time, and so we did the music to the film had seen…”

    I: “In our minds .

    PB: “Yes”

    I: “It was obviously the film he saw in his mind to”

    PB: “Oh yes definitely, but that was not our problem at that time (laughs), I think the difficulty is that the film business is even more limited because of commercial reasons than music is. Especially with the kind background of the companies and so on and so forth, so William Friedkin was more forced even to go commercially than we would have done, when we read the script and did the music and that’s why we are not absolutely happy with how the music turned out to the film, um….but this is because we had our own film in mind, and of course it couldn’t be the same as he did, and maybe for some parts had to do for commercial reasons”

    I: “Do you think that a film score is extremely important to a film and how do you think those two art forms merge?”

    PB: “It very much depends on the film, I think for this film it could have been also another movie and when William Friedkin writes that the music was a major inspiration I think, just the background of the music and the mood of the music was very, very important for him and gave him many ideas…definitely this music must have gone with that film, at least I can imagine that are much closer relationships between music and film”

  2. Andy King says:

    Sorcerer LP review, Eurock #9, Sept 1977
    Tangerine Dream – SORCERER (MCA)

    According to director Friedkin in the album’s liner notes, Tangerine Dream sent him ninety minutes of music for the film’s score. Of that ninety about forty-five are contained on the album and of that, only about ten are actually used in the film. The only sustained use of the music is over the end credits. The two cuts used there are “Betrayal” (Sorcerer Theme) and “Grind” which are also available on a single.

    “Betrayal” is the only piece that sounds unforced. There is inspiration behind it and the music is direct and confident. It has a charging rhythm that plays against a murky, ominous undertone.

    It is the lack of tone that makes the rest of the music fail, at least as far as soundtrack music for such a doom-laden film as SORCERER. “Grind,” “Rain Forest,” “Impressions of Sorcerer” and “Search” are all far from being lousy pieces of music, but they are moodless and incomplete musical ideas. Moodlessness can be blamed on the musicians, but the faded endings and under three minute average running tine indicate that MCA did its own editing. As far as sound dynamics SORCERER has interesting moments. Froese’s guitar work is light, clean and rounded in “Search” and “The Call,” but too wild and rocky in “Impressions of Sorcerer.” “Impressions..” also has some unexpected synthesized Latin percussion that works well. The melancholy synthi-flute heard on other Dream albums also appears here on “The Journey” and “The Mountain Toad” and an effective synthicricket sound runs through “Rain Forest.” “Main Title” and “Abyss” contain the wildest ranges of sound on the record, including the deep foreboding buzz over which light bubble-like sounds skitter in “Main Title,” and the subdued drone that evolves into a panic paced battle of Mellotron and synthesizer before falling apart in “Abyss.”

    There are many valid sound images in SORCERER, but a combination of editing and T. Dream’s recent veer towards the rock market sabotaged the creative process whereby those images would have been integrated into music with artistic vision. As it is SORCERER is further evidence that they are stuck in a holding pattern.

    Joe Carducci

  3. Andy King says:

    Synapse: On the liner notes of the ‘Sor­cerer’ soundtrack William Friedkin was talking about how he sent you the script and you sent him your tapes: your im­pression, of his work. Were you pleased with what came of your work?

    Froese: To be honest with you, and I al­ways try to be honest, even though it can often be a bit dangerous, perhaps for the image if the band, but I don’t like the film. Maybe it’s the way the music fits into the picture. I saw the original version, Henri­Georges Clouzot’s “The Wages of Fear” Which was released in 1953 and it’s made just too much in the same way I thought there would be something new. It’s terrible because we are living in a new age, a new time, and the story means nothing to me at all. Men travelling across untravellable roads with explosives it’s so unrealistic. Nobody would do it today. The situation, for us, was quite amazing. What group has the chance to create music for a full ­length Hollywood feature? It’s a great thing… but on the other hand, we are so close behind our music, with what we try to do. What we try to explain through our exper­ience. So if it’s a regular Feature, or just a short, or a T.V. series, it has to be together. It has to be in sync, and we just weren’t that satisfied.

    Synapse: I thought the album quite good, completely apart from the film.

    Froese: We were a bit afraid of that situation, too. We did so much to explain the script-we were working quite hard on that music, and the way it fits into the picture, its just totally away from the explanation we attempted.

    Synapse: He used some of Keith Jarrett’s “Hymns and Spheres” too.

    Froese: That’s the other point, I like Keith Jarrett’s music. l really love this crazy, genius keyboard player But l think it Would have been possible for him (Friedkin) to inform the band that he was using someone else’s music as well. Which he did not.

    Synapse: He didn’t let you know till later on?

    Froese: Not until we saw the film for the first time in L.A We were quite surprised. We thought “My God! Where have we played that? Recorded that?” We didn’t know-we just could not place that inter­lude or two that later turned out be Jarrett.

    Synapse: You’ve heard “Hymns and Spheres”?

    Froese: I bought it afterward, and I really love it. He recorded in a church in Ger­many.

    Synapse: Do you think you’ll ever do a soundtrack again?

    Froese: There’s a plan to do the music for an American science-fiction T.V. series. Negotiations have recently started. I don’t know how far it’s progressed. It might be a good chance to get right into the main­stream exposure.

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