“In the mid-’60s, noted obscurantist/occultist Kenneth Anger drew plans to make a film through Alistair Crowleyâ€™s works, and had approached Jimmy Page for documentation. Through conversations they decided that the guitarist would provide the soundtrack. A first version of the film lasting 30 minutes once existed, but after some insistence Page convinced the filmmaker to extend his film. A second version, this time lasting 90 minutes, was finished by the very end of the ’70s. Over the course of the decade, Page and Anger got into a solid dispute that still lasts today, and Page forbade him to ever use his music for the film. Still nowadays, Pageâ€™s composition remains practically unheard.
Having taken part in the Charles Manson gang through his musical activities (he was a guitarist in the LA scene), Bobby Beausoleil was implicated in the series of murders orchestrated by Manson. Facing a life sentence for murder, and the prospect of never seeing freedom again, he started escaping through his artistic activities.
Among the myths surrounding his involvement in the project, apparently Beausoleil played a role in the Kenneth Anger’s original version of Lucifer Rising. This is highly implausible, because most of the filming took place while he was already incarcerated. For some reasons, Beausoleil had some footage that Anger needed, and this was why they got in touch. With Anger looking for someone to provide the music, he turned to BB, who accepted, despite the fact that he was in jail. Legend has it that Beausoleil built most of the instruments needed for the music by ordering the separate parts on his own, even down to the recording table and his fellow musician/inmatesâ€™ instruments.
According to the few sources that did see Lucifer Rising, it is little else than nonsense and completely obtuse, but whatever few qualities are there, they are strongly enhanced by the superb soundtrack courtesy of Beausoleil. And indeed, the soundtrack is quite a marvellous surprise; further human proof that even for criminals, artistic greatness is not related to the creatorâ€™s character or persona.
The 90 minute-plus soundtrack is made up of six untitled movements, all entirely instrumental, and filled with breathtakingly beautiful music. Indeed, the whole albums circles around early Barrett-less Floyd and early Ash Ra Tempel. Ranging from the mysteriously cosmic to the solemnly grandiose to the flabbergastingly beautiful, this music can only astound you, even more so knowing that it was created in prison. Beausoleil’s electronicly-driven guitar, Suttonâ€™s keyboards (including a Fender Rhodes, which shoots down the legend of self-built instruments), and Herbie Rasconeâ€™s trumpet all provide spine-chilling moments over a not so simple backtrack of drumming, obviously tracing Nick Masonâ€™s better moments.
The whole album is a rather even affair, like youâ€™d expect from Kosmische Muzik. Slow-evolving, but flawlessly progressing through the dreamy realm of Beausoleilâ€™s search for Nirvana in the depth of his jail cell, Lucifer Rising is certainly an awesome gem unearthed from this astounding 70â€™s decade. A must for everyone, regardless of the future filmâ€™s release.” – Sean Trane, Prog Archives
Bobby Beausoleil And The Freedom Orchestra
Lucifer Rising [Original Soundtrack]
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