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Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 surrealist film, The Holy Mountain.

One film you might not have realized features the synthesizer is Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 surrealist film, The Holy Mountain.

The movie was produced by the Beatles’ manager Allen Klein of ABKCO Music and was funded by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

How did they meet? When director Alejandro Jodorowsky was looking for a venue in which to screen his film El Topo, it was John Lennon and Yoko Ono who asked for it to run at midnight following their short-film festival at New York’s Elgin Cinema. Eventually, John Lennon’s manager, Allen Klein (ABKCO’s founder), bought the rights to El Topo and agreed to produce its follow-up, The Holy Mountain.

The soundtrack was composed by Alejandro Jodorowsky himself, the late Ron Frangipane and jazz trumpeter Don Cherry. Ron turned Jodorowsky’s melodic fragments into orchestral arrangements and Don improvised music as the film was projected in silence - with a group reported to have been more than 100 musicians.

One song in particular stuck out to me watching the film last night, and that is track 17, “F*ck Machine”. Sounds like something parallel universe Kraftwerk might’ve made.

Ronald Frangipane was perhaps best known for contributing his keyboard talents to the feature films Barbarella and Midnight Cowboy - he was also in the band The Archies. Don Cherry performed alongside musicians such as John Coltrane, Charlie Haden, Sun Ra and Ed Blackwell.

References: Wiki, Light in the Attic, Under the Radar Mag, Discogs.


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