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Naqoyqatsi Soundtrack

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, October 8, 2002
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Frequently Bought Together

Naqoyqatsi + Powaqqatsi (1988 Film) + KOYAANISQATSI (Complete Original Soundtrack Version)
Price for all three: $35.97

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Director Godfrey Reggio's Hopi-inspired Qatsi trilogy is one of most ambitious and challenging film cycles ever attempted. With groundbreaking visuals, the non-verbal films examine--and inherently critique--the rapid transition from the natural order to a world dominated by human culture and technology. Critical to the films' success has been the music of Philip Glass, for whom the projects have variously represented an entrée into a rich film-scoring career and compelling motivation for expanding his minimalist technique. In the first two chapters (Koyaanisqatsi, 1983; Powaqqatsi, 1988), the composer's music gave poetic rhythm to the striking images of man and nature in conflict; here's he's ironically asked to be the human link to the film's cascade of oft impressionistic, digitally manipulated images. The result is some of the composer's warmest, most organically friendly music. Crucial to the soundtrack's success is the collaboration of master cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the extent of which (the musician's brooding, lyrical lines are the work's veritable arteries) elevates Glass's work to de facto Ma cello concerto. His work on the "Old World" and "New World" movements may well rank with some of his most haunting, validating Glass's sage, back-to-the future tack in the bargain. --Jerry McCulley

1. Naqoyqatsi
2. Primacy of Number
3. Massman
4. New World
5. Religion
6. Media Weather
7. Old World
8. Intensive Time
9. Point Blank
10. The Vivid Unknown
11. Definition

Product Details

  • Performer: Philip Glass, Yo-Yo Ma
  • Audio CD (October 8, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Sony
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • ASIN: B00006L3LH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,410 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Parsons TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
"Naqoyqatsi" (Hopi for "Life as War") is the soundtrack for the final part of the "Qatsi" trilogy of films by Godfrey Reggio. Let me say upfront that I haven't seen any of the films, although I've read about them. That said, I can review the soundtrack without visuals or prejudice about the film experience (most of the reviews I've read indicated that the film was disappointing), and can focus on the music only. Unlike many soundtracks, the music for "Naqoyqatsi" stands firmly on its own as a great score. The music, composed by Philip Glass (who also composed the music for the other two parts of the trilogy), combines digital and acoustic instrumentation, and it is Yo-Yo Ma's cello that gives the music its humanizing soul. This is the first collaboration with Glass and Ma, and it seems to be a match made in heaven. The film is about technology's adverse affects on humanity, so the juxtaposition of electronic and acoustic instruments underscores this message, with Ma's cello pleading humanity's case. The whole album is excellent, full, and powerful. I really like "Religion," with it's upbeat, playful spirit. The keyboards are mechanically precise although the rhythm is catchy, so when the soulful cello comes in, the contrast is startling. This piece is almost "fun" in comparison to some of the darker tracks. It makes me very curious about the film's visual images in this section. My favorite track is "Intensive Time," which is, indeed, intense. It is primarily acoustic with full orchestra, voices, and Ma's heart-rending cello. It swoops and soars with a continuous sense of urgency and mystery generated primarily by a recurring theme with percussion and French horns.Read more ›
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Gary Schroeder on October 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I've eargerly awaited the third installment in the 'Qatsi' trilogy since the late '80s. (At the time of this review, the film has not yet been released.) I have to say that I'm utterly intrigued by the music that I've heard. It's difficult for me to imagine what the accompanying visuals must look like based on the music alone. Glass' score for the film varies widely in speed and intensity, with moods ranging from joy to melancholy (via Yo-Yo Ma's expert cello). As with his other works for film, the music is quite capable of standing on its own.
As Glass has been doing for the last 10 years or so, he continues to expand his style into previously unexplored territory while keeping many of the trademark rhythmic devices which make his music instantly recognizable. Naqoyqatsi is not exactly like anything he's done before; it is refreshingly unique. (One of the most appealing tracks is number 5, "Religion", in which an instrument that sounds like a xylophone is used to great effect.) This soundtrack is lush and symphonic in scope and could never be classified as "minmalist", an old label that has been misapplied to Glass' work for years by people who have never moved beyond "Einstein on the Beach".
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Steve Schindler on November 25, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Legendary composer Philip Glass completes the "QATSI" trilogy in grand style with this soundtrack, easily the best new music of 2002.
So many people complain about buying a CD and only getting one or two good "songs"- here is 77 minutes of inspired music! This soundtrack should win an Academy Award and a Grammy for both composition and technical achievement in recording.
I'm keeping this review short- buy it and listen for yourself. You won't be disappointed. NAQOYQATSI is wondrously recorded and beautifully performed. A triumph and a perfect ending to the QATSI trilogy.
Yo-Yo Ma's beautiful and powerful cello solos never overwhelm the balance of the soundtrack. NAQOYQATSI means "life as war"- the overall impression the score gives me is a sense of foreboding- that we've already "lost the war" against technology taking away our humanity. The score isn't all doom and gloom, however- the range of emotions is phenomenal. Philip Glass is simply a genius.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I briefly wanted to offer some thoughts on the film itself... I am a huge fan of the work of Reggio and Ron Fricke, so I had been eagerly anticipating the arrival of "Naqoyqatsi". The last part of the trilogy is an unfortunate miscalculation. While the first two can be appreciated for its visual contemplations on the state of the world, there can be no denying that a huge part of the appeal was the aesthetic beauty of the images and music. This is what made the themes that were being explored so palatable and evocative. The problem with the third film is that the filmmakers HAVE decided to deny this. Of course, people will argue that that is the purpose behind the film... technology has become so pervasive in our world that natural aesthetic beauty is dead. Unfortunately, by deliberately and stubbornly stripping the film of these qualities in the name of thematic exploration, those very themes become obscured and inaccessible. The film would have ultimately been a dreary bore, with extremely few supporters, had it not been for the fine work of Philip Glass. The music is outstanding, and the film relies heavily on the music to give the film the aesthetic qualities that the visuals deliberately lack. And the music almost succeeds at this... the film is made watchable. It certainly can't completely save the film on its own, but it is unlikely that any music would have been able to. There is nothing to complain about as far as the music is concerned. This is some of the best music Glass has ever offered... on the merits of the music alone I would say that this is the best work of the trilogy... and that is saying a lot. It would be unfair to ask it to cover up the bitter disappointment that the film is, so it is best that the music be regarded as a stand alone work.
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