Austin, TX: Punctum Records, 2016. Audio CD, 58 mins., with accompanying PDF booklet. $19.00. ASIN: B075JYNMWL.

Fugitive Traces

Fugitive Traces is an album and accompanying PDF booklet that collages the director’s commentary from over a dozen Werner Herzog films with electronic, chamber, and rock music to both pay homage to one of the world’s most visionary filmmakers and critique an artistic practice rooted in contradiction and frequent disaster.

Fugutive Traces (album)

You know the stories. Werner Herzog exploited native workers to clear a swath of rainforest and pull a steamship up a mountain in Peru. Werner Herzog climbed an active volcano on an evacuated island, and then claimed embarrassment that the volcano had not erupted. Werner Herzog brought about the deaths of 10,000 tame rats he’d smuggled into the Netherlands for the filming of Nosferatu.

The album’s accompanying “lyrics” comprise an essay that explores the consequences of being seduced by Herzog’s unique brand of recklessness, documenting a disaster on the set of young filmmaker Joe Sacksteder’s Silo.

Tracks from Fugitive Traces previously appeared on Sleepingfish, The Collagist, Textsound, Quarterly West, and Queen Vic Knives. The Young Vish is joined on this album by Chris Westhoff (guitar), Mark Dickson / Nests (guitar, mandolin), Hannah Robbins (cello), and Brian DiBlassio (piano).

See a video version of Trace 17, “Vapid Babble” (an audio-visual collage in collaboration with Veronika Spalajkovic):


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