“Lucifer is the patron saint of visual arts.” (Kenneth Anger)
Much has been said about the very troubled soul of Bobby Beausoleil but his creative process far exceeds all the myth and gossip that surround him. The man found himself in jail after killing a man and, rising from his own inferno, unexpectedly penned one of the most momentous and timeless original soundtracks ever. This year sees the reissue of the latter, a must have record and spiritual trip.
“When I composed and recorded the soundtrack for a reconceptualized Lucifer Rising a decade after the first abandoned attempt I drew on my own life experiences to tell the story in music evocative of the mythical Lucifer awakening in his pit of despair, rekindling his torch, and rising like a phoenix from the ashes of his own unmaking to begin his long journey from the dark recesses of the underworld -shedding his pride along the way in his uncompromising desire to regain the Beloved.” -Bobby Beausoleil
Originally, Bobby Beausoleil had been approached by avant-garde film maker Kenneth Anger who wanted Bobby to play Lucifer and write the soundtrack. The latter agreed but got too caught up in his part in real life. After Anger and Beausoleil fell out, the director moved to London, while Bobby met the Manson family and murdered a drug dealer who had sold him a large amount of mescaline which was nothing but junk. Kenneth then asked Jimmy Page to do the score but they didn’t get along, so when Beausoleil wrote to the director from Tracy State Prison to ask him to be a part of Lucifer Rising, the adventure began...
Goosebumps inducing, cosmic, otherwordly, organic and hallucinogenic, the fully instrumental Lucifer Rising drops you into the abyss right off the bat, taking full hold of the listener’s senses. What makes this soundtrack a proper experience is its almighty hypnotism, when you listen to it, you cannot have any normal activity, it literally stops you in your tracks. You just yield to its rhythm to become a passenger, as if you were part of the story.
It is a landmark of occult culture, in the same way as Aleister’s Crowley writings. White magic, black magic songs blending into one another, somewhere halfway between orchestral music and experimental space rock.
The film Lucifer Rising is about Egyptian gods summoning the angel Lucifer, starting a new age. Imagine if Sun Ra had made a rock record... This is revelatory of a time when experimentalism was the raw material of change, both in art and in lifestyle.
A wild, dark and celebratory sonic trip, even more mind-boggling considering that it was written in prison. Beausoleil found in the Freedom Orchestra the ideal band for this project. Redemption through chaos, so the darkness shall be the light.
In the words of Louis Aragon, “Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites that people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash.”
Lucifer Rising was reissued on the Ajna Offensive in 2017.