Passion Sources

Various Artists, 1989

Passion Sources was compiled by Peter Gabriel as a companion to his album Passion, the music he'd written for the Martin Scorsese film The Last Temptation of Christ.

Recording the film soundtrack, Peter Gabriel worked with many international musicians. Some recorded at Real World Studios, some on the film's location in North Africa, and others were sought out from past archives. Passion Sources gives us scope to hear more from these musicians in their own right.

"In my research for Passion, many people mentioned the wonderful resources of the National Sound Archive and in particular introduced me to Lucy Duran, who both understood what I was hoping to achieve and made lots of great suggestions. Scorsese had asked for a new type of score that was neither ancient nor modern, that was not a pastiche but had clear references to the region, traditions and atmospheres, but was in itself a living thing."

The Passion Sources album includes many 'sources of inspiration' for the main Passion album - some of the recordings of traditional music that Peter listened to at the National Sound Archive - alongside location recordings made during the filming process. For Gabriel, the archive is still a relevant source of inspiration: "There is so much great stuff there, most of which you can't reach by Googling."

Here, Peter Gabriel gives a track-by-track account of the album. This is text that appeared in the liner notes of the original album release.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Shamas-Ud-Doha, Badar-Ud-Doja (Edit)
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is regarded as one of the great Qawwali voices of our time. His group are highly respected throughout the Islamic world. This is an edited version of the song. The full ten-minute version can be found on the album Shahen-Shah which means 'Bright Shining Star', the title Nusrat was also given.

Baaba Maal - Call To Prayer
Baaba Maal is a Senegalese griot singer fast building a reputation in the West. Baaba's performance of a traditional 'Call to Prayer' was recorded during the work for the soundtrack. It appeared in the film during the scene of The Last Supper.

Shankar And The Epidemics - Sankarabaranam Pancha Nadai Pallavi
I have been collaborating with Shankar on different projects for the last eight years. He is always a great pleasure to work with: a very sensitive, sympathetic and gifted musician. This is a track he selected from his work with his own group, The Epidemics.

Kudsi Erguner - Ulvi
The title of this track means 'Celeste'. It is a solo recording by the Turkish master flautist Kudsi Erguner that he made specifically for this album.

Hossam Ramzy - Fallahi
The Fallahim, Egyptian farmers, use this rhythm in their songs of celebration. This is one of the most popular of the Sharqi rhythms.

Sabahiya - Bang (Tanta-Suaag)
This piece was found originally on an album called 'The Folk Music of Egypt' an anthology by Tiberiu Alexandru. This song is a nuptial morning serenade and appears in the film just prior to the Market scene in Magdela at the entrance of the camel drivers.

Unknown Ethiopian Musicians - Tejbeit
A Tejbeit is a bar which beer and other alcoholic beverages are brewed. The original field recording of this song was done in such a bar with the naturally lubricated accompaniment of customers and bar girls. We wanted to enliven the music, which was a little lost in the recording, and so added Egyptian percussion and whistle.

Mahmoud Tabrizi Zadeh - Prelude In Tchahargah
Recorded specifically for this album, this piece, Persian in origin, is a prelude in a mode of Indian music.

Unknown Moroccan Musicians - Wedding Song
This piece was recorded on the set of the film in Morocco. Additional percussion was later added at Real World. It appears during the Wedding in Canaa scene.

Abdul Aziz El-Sayed - Magdelene's House
Originally recorded as an alternative for the brothel scene, this track was used when Lazarus was murdered by Saul.

Fatala - Yoky
This traditional rhythm is played by Fatala, a group of musicians from Guinea, West Africa.

Nass El Ghiwane - Ya Sah
The original recording of this track appeared in the film during the brothel scene and was one of the pieces that helped shaped Martin Scorsese's ideas for the soundtrack.

Musicians of the Nile - Al Nahla Al 'Ali
The title of this track translates to 'The High Palm Tree'. The Musicians of the Nile also collaborated on the Passion album.

Antranik Askarian & Khatchadour Khatchaturian - Song Of Complaint
This is an instrumental adaptation of 'The Song of the Emigrant'. Song of Complaint originally appears on an album entitled 'Armenie Musique de Tradition Populaire' on Ocora Records. The music is played on a double reed instrument called a Doudouk. This is an instrumental version of a song of sorrow which describes the forced emigration of a peasant on account of his poverty.

Reviews

  • These inspirational items are full of musicological interest... ...and show team members such as Shankar and Baaba Maal going through some impressive paces. Q Magazine (UK)