Sunday, February 1, 2015

Remember Me

A paean to the natural world, Vangelis' "Beautiful Planet Earth" is included in this gorgeous production that revels in the natural environment as it exists with us in this moment. Vangelis has been celebrating our planet and its creatures with music for over 45 years now, and as the hymn begins to fade and its notes dim, perhaps now we shall conscript it to memory?

L'Apocalypse Des Animaux is Vangelis' masterpiece recording for a French ecological/wildlife film documentary series by director Frederic Rossif, produced in 1972. Over forty years have gone by since the recording of the remarkable beauty of each of the tracks that make up this, Vangelis' second solo album, after leaving the progressive rock band, Aphrodite's Child.

Especially poignant are the atmospheric 10-minute epic, "Creation du Monde" (Creation of the World), the liquid "La Mer Recommence" (The sea begins once again) and the three most luminous tracks of the album: "La Mort du Loup" (The death of the wolf), "Le singe bleu" (The blue monkey) and one of Vangelis' most eternal works, "La Petite Fille de la Mer" (The little girl from the sea.)

Hymne is a resplendent track in the Opera Sauvage (L'Enfant) released in 1979 as the score for the nature documentary by the same title, again by French filmmaker Rossif. Years ago,“Hymne” was used by a Barilla commercial in Italy.Since then, it became the “Barilla song” for all things Italian, as well as for a Gallo wine commercial in the US in the 1980's.

This music penetrates our consciousness with the harmonic flows of natural rhythm and its rich textures, now beginning to thin and fray. As these notes echo and fade into the dimmer recesses of memory, we come starkly to the realization of what we have wrought and its implications for the future of life as we know it. Scientists, who have documented these changes and their human sources for decades, are now sharing their grieving process. Their failure to give a vehement, clear voice to the lost regenerative power of natural things has hurt deeply.

"I don't know of a single scientist that's not having an emotional reaction to what is being lost," Parmesan said in the National Wildlife Federation's 2012 report. "It's gotten to be so depressing that I'm not sure I'm going to go back to this particular site again," she said in reference to an ocean reef she had studied since 2002, "because I just know I'm going to see more and more of the coral dead, and bleached, and covered with brown algae."