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Sur Le Theme De Bene Gesserit

As a follow up to my last post on the origins of ambient music and cryptic homages left to Philip K. Dick, I thought I’d write a little something something on the theme of electronic music inspired by the fantastic in general. J. Horrible had commented/questioned on whether I had read Roger Zelazny which made me wonder whether she had known of any music inspired by the writer. And at that moment I noticed I was listening to Chronolyse (1976) by Richard Pinhas, an electonic album inspired by Frank Herbert’s novel Dune (1965). This album predated the David Lynch film so set aside premonitions of an Angelo Badalamenti score… for all I know this could have been the score for the unrealized Alejandro Jadorowsky directed Dune film.

The album comes in three parts, really: “Sur Le Them De Bene Gesserit” (Parts I-VII), “Duncan Idaho,” and a thirty minute Fripp-ish multi-track guitar improv jam with drums and accompanying synth sounds entitled “Paul Atreides.”

The connection between science-fiction and the evolution of electronic music is deep. Just consider the influence of György Ligeti and Wendy Carlos’ scores for Stanley Kurbrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (Arthur C. Clark) and A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess). I’m wondering now what the musical accompaniment may have been for Karel Čapek’s play Rossum’s Universal Robots (and its numerous adaptations).

Please comment if you know of any other electronic music inspired by fantastic or fabulist literature.

Duncan Idaho’s Shield Suit upon being activated. From the film DUNE (1984)

About Aharon N. Varady


Aharon's Omphalos is the hobbit hole of Aharon Varady, founding director of the Open Siddur Project. He is a community planner and environmental educator working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of libraries and museums. His advocacy for open-source strategies in the Jewish community has been written about in the Atlantic Magazine, Tablet, and Haaretz. He is particularly interested in pedagogies for advancing ecological wisdom, developing creative and emotional intelligence, and realizing effective theurgical praxes . He welcomes your comments, personal messages, and kind words. If you find my work helpful to your own or you'd simply like to support me, please consider donating via my Patreon account.

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