Finders Keepers make musical history once again with what they regard as their very finest, darkest and most magnificent hour as they release the delicately haunting and sacred score to Jaromil Jires’ essential Eastern European hallucinogenic-baroque-witch-flick Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders.
It has taken Andy Votel almost 12 years to finally get his grubby vinyl-magnetic mitts on the original studio recordings of this previously unreleased score. A futile decade of Eastern European phone calls, continental crate digging and eventually wicked web scouring confirmed that like most Czechoslovakian film scores Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders never benefited from a commercial vinyl release and was condemned to a life imprisoned in the vaults of the original film production company sheltered from political duress and controversy for ever more… until now.
Aided and abetted by his counter cultured compatriots at Finders Keepers a black virgin vinyl and CD duplication of the original master-tapes are now available for one and all to enjoy courtesy of the men who performed previous death defying escape missions for Stanley Myers soundtrack music to Sitting Target and providing psychedelic amnesty for buried treasures by Jean-Claude Vannier, Susan Christie and a veritable hoard of progressive Welsh folk music. And what better time and climate to unleash this Baroque folk masterpiece to an audience of bespoke music lovers as now – as our affection for traditional mystic music reaches a healthy hiatus.
Lubos Fiser provides what is perhaps the greatest musical score of all the maligned Czech New Wave feature films with a gossamer-fragile blend of pastoral orchestral folk songs and clockwork harpsichords. From the very first delicate chord to the final crescendo this joyous sound is as addictive as the bizarre imagery seen in this seldom celebrated cinematic gem (which was screened in front of three hundred mesmerised patrons of this year’s Green Man Festival).
Naturally the list of musical pioneers who freely confess their allegiance to the score verifies it’s elevated place in contemporary pop. Birmingham’s dedicated concrete pop psych combo Broadcast recently paid homage to the soundtrack on there Ha-Ha Sound LP while groups such as Espers, Fursaxa and Marissa Nadler recently contributed to a live performance of the soundtrack as a homage to its unwaning influence on their music. Echoes of the score can also be heard in recent music by Vashti Bunyen and it has been cited as a huge influence to the likes of Tim Burton who based the carnival scene at the end of Big Fish on the original film.
Previously unprepared for public consumption the immaculate release has been compiled in close accordance to the original storyline which was released in 1935 as a surrealist novel by Vladislav Nezval. The orchestral suites of music have been separated into 23 chapters with titles derived from the controversial novella. This seminal release comes complete with unseen archive images, original international poster designs and new and extensive sleeve notes by Andy Votel, Professor Peter Hames and Trish Keenan from Broadcast.