Ernst Reijseger - Requiem for a dying planet- sounds for 2 films by Werner Herzog
Requiem for a dying planet
Sounds for two films by Werner Herzog
»The White Diamond« and »The Wild Blue Yonder«
Music has always played a central part in the art of film director Werner Herzog.
It is never an 'add-on' but always an integral part of any creation, whether feature-film or documentary. In 2004 Werner Herzog came to Munich to see Stefan Winter because he wanted to find some very personal music for the documentaries »The Wild Blue Yonder« and »The White Diamond«. Stefan Winter played the music of »Colla Parte«, »Colla Voche«, »Janna« and other sounds performed by the artist Ernst Reijseger.
Werner Herzog found what he was looking for: "I want to use imagery and sound in a way you have never before experienced." This musical vision led to extraordinary recording sessions in Paris, Ludwigsburg and Munich. Werner Herzog was joined by Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger, Senegalese singer Mola Sylla, and the Voches de Sardinna called Tenore e Cuncordu de Orosei.
An initially unlikely assemblage became a powerful, unique and extraordinary work. Uniting this with vintage recordings from Friedrich Händel's "Dank sei dir Gott" featuring singer Emmi Leisner, a very original score was produced. This album is the AudioFilm [cinema for closed eyes] »Requiem For a Dying Planet« by Stefan Winter, inspired by works recorded for Werner Herzog.
After a false start about twenty years ago Ernst Reijseger and Stefan Winter met in Munich in 1996. Since that time the cellist, composer and performance artist Ernst Reijseger and the producer Stefan Winter started a very close artistic cooperation and friendship. Ernst Reijseger's debut solo album was recorded at the Villa Medici in Briosco near Milano. During that recording session friends from the Italian Jazz Festival Clusone came to Briosco to hear and see Ernst Reijseger and they brought with them a cassette of the Voches de Sardinna which created Stefan Winter's curiosity in Sardinian choir music.
In the following years Ernst Reijseger and Stefan Winter travelled together to Venice, and during a special Winter & Winter artist meeting the Tenore e Cuncordu de Orosei (Voches de Sardinna) and Ernst Reijseger performed at Caffè Quadri on St. Mark's Square. The album »Colla Voche«, produced on the island Sardinia was the result of this wonderful first collaboration in Venice. The musical journey went on and Ernst Reijseger recorded in Bordeaux (Musiques de Nuit invite Winter & Winter) the album »Janna« dedicated to his daughter featuring the African singer Mola Sylla and the percussionist Serigne C. M. Gueye.
Other works with Uri Caine (»Goldberg Variations«), Fumio Yasuda (»Kakyoku«), the Graewe, Reijseger, Hemingway Trio (»Continuum«), Stefan Winter's »Kastanienball«, Vittorio Ghielmi's gamba sound excursion "Full Of Colour" followed. Ernst Reijseger played also an important role in the sound story »Au Bordel«. Not to forget Stian Carstensen's »Backwards into the Backwoods« and the almost non classical new music group Amsterdam String Trio with »Winter Theme«.
In his adopted home Los Angeles Werner Herzog discovered same of these wondrous musical works and he was curious to hear more. In Winter & Winter's show room in Munich he listened for hours to Ernst Reijseger. Werner Herzog was in the process of finishing the documentaries »The White Diamond« and »The Wild Blue Yonder« and Ernst Reijseger's music fulfilled his extraordinary expectations to create a soundtrack for very special stories about the airship engineer Dr. Graham Dorrington in Guyana (»The White Diamond«) and the fiction about an exceptional planet (»The Wild Blue Yonder«).
Ernst Reijseger, Mola Sylla and the Voches de Sardinna performed and created together sounds and songs for Werner Herzog.
The international press reacted with a wave of enthusiasm about these film sounds:
"…and a soundtrack featuring a Senegalese singer, five Sardinian voices and a Dutch cellist – is mesmerizing and beyond categorization."
– David Jenkins, Sunday Telegraph
"The sountrack is destined for greater things."
– Ray Bennett, Hollywood Reporter
"A work of hypnotic beauty with an original soundtrack of bewitching music by Ernst Reijseger and with the enchanting voice notably of Mola Sylla from Senegal."
– Fabien Lemercier, CineEuropa
Ernst Reijseger and Stefan Winter remixed the music recorded for Werner Herzog to create an autonomous album with the title »Requiem For a Dying Planet« – the name of the first chapter in »The Wild Blue Yonder«.
Most parts of this album were influenced by compositions originally written for religious rites, to thank a divine power, to talk about the tragedy and the guilt of human beings and the belief in God. But this religious music does not stay without a comment. Ernst Reijseger and Mola Sylla adapt the church songs with new sounds, rhythms and texts.
»Requiem For a Dying Planet« is not the anticipated death song for the earth, this music is dedicated to this wonderful planet and the beauty of living which could be heavenly if religions would not exist.