CD: Mystic Records MYS 114 - Great-Brittain - 1997
CD: Voiceprint Japan VPJ 041 - Japan - 1997
CD: Resurgence Records RJS4176- 1998
CD: SPV - D - 2004 (Shepherd's Symphony - Hirtensymphonie)
CD: Hunter HNTR 70282 - 2004


Track list from Mystic Records MYS 114 - 1997:

Shepherds Of The Future (Die Hirten der Zukunft) - 6:08
Short Visit To The Great Sorcerer (Kurzer Besuch Beim Grossen Zauberer) - 6:00
Wild Vine - 8:29
Shepherd's Dream (Der Traum Des Schaefers) - 4:17
Eternal Love - 8:18
Dance Of The Menads (Tanz Der Menaden) - 6:24
Yes - 5:02

Liner notes

Liner notes from Mystic Records MYS 114 - 1997:

Popol Vuh are
Florian Fricke,
Frank Fiedler,
Guido Hieronymus

All tracks composed by Florian Fricke and Guido Hieronymus except track 7 by Guido Hieronymus
All songs published by Gammarock Musik (Gema No.078911)
Album arranged and produced by Popol Vuh.
Recorded at Afro Sound Studios, Munich, Germany, March 1997.
Engineered by Guido Hieronymus.
Sound consultant Johannes Fricke.
Executive producer Gerhard Augustin.
Project co-ordination Don McKay and Robert Barrs-James

Text booklet from Mystic MYS CD 114 - 1997:

Shepherd's Symphony is the 25th album release by the phenomenon known as POPOL VUH, the musical outlet for over a quarter of a century for Florian Fricke.
Florian Fricke, musician, arranger, piano player and producer has become a public figure in the World of music through his collaborations with film Director/Producer Werner Herzog, writing the soundtracks for the classic movies AQUIRRE; NOSFERATU; COBRA VERDE and FITZCARRALDO.
The name Popol Vuh derives from the book of knowledge, the POPOL VUH - the sacred book of ancient Quiche Maya Indians. The book is without any shadow of the doubt the most distinguished example of native American literature that has survived the passing Centuries. Of all American peoples, the Quiche of Guatemala have left us the richest mythological legacy. Their description of the Creation as given in the Popol Vuh is, with it's rude strange eloquence and poetic originality the rarest relic of aboriginal thought. The book Popol Vuh presents the complete picture of the popular traditions, religious beliefs, migrations and development of the Indian tribes that populated the territory of Guatemala following the collapse of the Ancient Maya Empire.
The musical entity, Popol Vuh was founded in 1969 when Florian Fricke, Frank Fiedler, Holger Trulzsch, Bettina Fricke and myself produced the first album of Electronic music with a Moog 111 Synthesizer entitled "AFFENSTUNDE" The Hour Of The Monkeys.
Florian Fricke originated from Lindau/Bodensee and studied at the Freiburg Musikhochschule, studying under some of Germany's most eminent teachers. At the age of 19 Florian quit his academic musical studies in order to begin working on his own ideas. When the MOOG Synthesizer was made commercially available in Germany he was so fascinated by the new revolutionary toy that he spent some years working with the keyboard instrument.
Being so far advanced technically, it was difficult for Florian to find partners in the music industry who were willing to give his artistic output the support required to move beyond his one, initial commercially unsuccessful album. However Florian persevered with the help of a steady recording band augmented by the incredible Korean singer Djong Yun. As his successes grew, so Florian, a deeply religious man, applied and added many biblical texts to his music resulting in his albums attaining a huge reputation in the Alternative and New Age music circles.
After spending 25 years turning musical dreams into realities Florian Fricke, Frank Fiedler and Guido Hieronymus have, with Shepherd's Symphony recorded an album that sounds quite unlike anything previously released under the name Popol Vuh.
Shepherd's Symphony is a reflection of the desire by Popol Vuh to encroach upon the avenue of popular music. In this, Florian has been heavily influenced by his son Johannes whose love for Hip-Hop and Techno Trance Sounds led to his convincing Florian of the need to write material that would appeal to the younger generation of music lovers whilst retaining the support of existing fans.
Florian Fricke has always been open to change within his music and to experiment with samples and sounds, he recently ventured into the World of Dance, always striving to ensure that his critics could not point to any stagnation in his music. His previous album, CITY RAGA, indicated a coming change which has been completed with the Shepherd's Symphony CD.
The Symphony is modern schamanistic music and will gain Popol Vuh many new admirers. Florian has always tried to walk new paths, untouched by others, it is an expression of Florian's freedom to remain an innovator and never to become an imitator. "Hirtensymphony", is the title of a new German film recently made in Tibet by Florian, who travels, once every five years to Himalaya where on his last journey, accompanied by his longtime friend and co-producer he conquered the Kailash mountain.
In Germany we have a very old creative tradition based on a sort of mystical tendency toward the absolute. Before Popol Vuh we produced many great poets, philosophers, some wonderful music and sadly, mad fascism. Today we are allowed to work and create freely and, in this way, we can develop our musical fantasies and relay them to the listeners. We personally enjoy music as sometimes creative and this is what we wish to convey to others. The music of Popol Vuh is relaxing, but never boring. It is gentle, but not slushy. It is like the Ocean at Sundown, like the Desert by Night, like the Sky at Dawn.
Think Deep, Think Sleep, Think For Yourself!

Gerhard Augustin, June 1997


I have always been asking myself what might be the meaning of the titles ‘Dream Part 4', ‘Dream Part 5' and ‘Dream part 49'. The following connection with the work of Lamonte Young may shed some light on it.

In july 1969 La Monte Young and Marian Zarzeela were in Munich for their first public performance of their so called ‘Dream House’ concept. Young used the term ‘Dream House’ for his experiments with environments of continuous light and sound that he started in the early sixties.
Florian Fricke reviewed the Munich concert for the Süddeutsche Zeitung (july 8, 1969)

Part of this concert was released on the ‘Black Album’ (Edition X, 1969):

side 1
31 VII 69 10:26 - 10:49 PM Munich From Map Of 49's Dream The Two Systems Of Eleven Sets Of Galactic Intervals Ornamental Lightyears Tracery (23:03)

side 2
23 VIII 64 2:50:45-3:11 AM The Volga Delta From Studies In The Bowed Disc (20:21)


“Die fortschrittlichste, ausgereifteste, und vielleicht wichtigste deutsche Plattenproduktion will jedoch bis jetzt noch keine Plattenfirma veröffentlichen. Zu wenig expressiv, zu weit voraus, zu aleatorisch erscheint den bei Deutschlands etablierten Plattenfirmen angestellten Produktions-Managern die bereits für eine Plattenveröffentlichung fertiggestellte Bandaufnahme der Münchener Gruppe POPUL VUH. Unter diesem Namen arbeiten drei Musiker, zwei von ihnen (Florian Fricke und Frank Fiedler) zaubern auf dem Moog Synthesizer, und Holger Trülzsch spielt die Perkussionsinstrumente. Die Gruppe kam kürzlich in unsere Redaktion und spielte uns zwei Bänder vor, von denen je eins für eine Plattenhälfte bestiummt ist.
Nachdem wir auf dem Moog so viel synthetisches Zeug gehört haben, war die Moog-Musik des Münchener Trios eine Offenbarung. Hier werden nicht mit Elektronik natürliche Instrumenten nachgeäfft, hier wird auch kein elektronischer Klangbrei fabriziert, sondern POPUL VUH ist die erste Gruppe, von der wir wirkliche Moog-Musik gehört haben. Dies ist eine Musik, die man nur auf dem Moog machen kann. Rhythmisch wird sie nicht nur durch elektronische Rhythmus-Schablonen, sondern auch durch Bongo- und Schlagzeugrhythmen, die auf natürlichen Instrumenten entstanden sind, bereichert.
Viele Leute, die dem Moog-Synthesizer noch skeptisch gegenüberstehen, dürften sich bei diesen Aufnahmen fragen, warum das nicht veröffentlicht wird.
Doch niemand sollte sich wundern, wenn am Ende diese Aufnahme der POPUL VUH auf dem Ohr-Label erscheint.”(Sounds)

“Die Münchener Gruppe Popol Vuh über deren erste Plattenproduktion Sounds im Novemberheft berichtete, hat einen Schallplattenvertrag bei Liberty unterschrieben. Anfang nächsten Jahres soll Ihre erste lp erscheinen.” (Sounds)

: Kommen wir jetzt zur ersten Popol Vuh-Platte, auf der du den Moog eingesetzt hast, die 1970 entstandenene LP ‘Affenstunde’.
Florian Fricke: Die ‘Affenstunde’ war damals so überraschend neu, daß sie auch gleich ein entsprechendes Echo gefunden hat. Sie ist in einer Zeit entstanden, in der man - nach all den repetitiven Klischees wie dem Schlager in Deutschland und dem Rock und Pop in den USA - das Bedürfnis nach neuen Klängen hatte. Die ‘Affenstunde’ wurde wie in einem Live-Prozeß hergestellt, also ohne verschiedene Takes anzufertigen, die dann einander zugeordnet wurden. Es wurde alles in einem Zug gespielt und aufgenommen. Neu war die Klangwelt, die den Hörer in einem anderen Raum versetzte, als das die bisherige Musik volbringen konnte. Die Platte wurde zwar kein Welterfolg aber sie hat eine ganz bestimmte Gruppe von Menschen in der ganzen Welt außerordentlich angesprochen.
Allein der Titel ‘ Affenstunde’ war schon exotisch, weil man assoziieren musste, was damit gemeint war: die Erhebung des Menschen vom Tier, von sich selbst zu wissen und Fantasie zu entwickeln.(Keyboards)

Gerhard Augustin
: Did the title AFFENSTUNDE have a double meaning for you? Like a first step for the band's genesis of the book "Popol Vuh"?
Florian Fricke: Yes, it had a double meaning. Each title has to be open for associations. That is a creative offer. What I, myself, really understand from AFFENSTUNDE, is that it is the moment when the human being becomes a human being, where man becomes man. When a human being becomes a human being and is no longer an ape any longer. So that is my double meaning for AFFENSTUNDE, that is the moment where the human being of a monkey turns into the human being of a human kind.
Gerhard Augustin: I have thought that AFFENSTUNDE could have been a kind of 'trip-music' for you, and you were inspired by your own drug experience. Is this right, or how do you feel about that?
Florian Fricke: We were all, in one way or another, involved in some sort of excitement, which you may call drugs, whether it was taking LSD, or smoking hashish, grass or marijuana - minor experiences. But you know that the way electronic instruments could be used in those days offered such fantastic opportunities to express oneself. There's no doubt about it that my music has delighted a lot of people who were into drugs or smoking or taking trips or whatever, that was part of our musical culture in those days. And my music was especially geared towards this clientele. I did not make music for classical music lovers, but for people that were into contemporary, new music. But I did not make the music because of that. (Eurock)

Florian Fricke
: Ich glaube trotzdem, daß du keine Ahnung davon hast, wie wir damals gearbeitet haben. Klar haben wir experimentiert und wollten etwas Neues, Eigenständiges gestalten. Aber zu welchm Preis! Ich erinnere mich noch an die Aufnahmen zur ersten Popol Vuh-Platte ‘Affenstunde’, als ich mit zwei Revox-maschinen arbeitete und nicht das Knowhow hatte, um sie in paralleler Geschwindigkeit am Laufen zu halten. Es ist mir prompt mißlungen, deshalb stehe ich bis heute nur zum ersten Stück dieser Platte. Für mich war meine technische Unwissenheit ein Versagen, für etliche Leute aber klang das Resultat völlig abgedreht. Also: wenn ich andere Maschienen hätte, wäre sicher eine andere Platte entstanden. Vielleicht kein Angeblicher ‘Meilenstein der elektronischen Musik’. (Fachblatt Musik Magazin


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Joseph D.Rowland (Pallbearer):

"Popol Vuh is one of my favorite bands of all time. I'm not really sure how I came across Popol Vuh years ago, but they have consistently stuck with me as one of the most atmosphere-filled music groups that's able to conjure up such an incredible feeling, a meditative feeling, with simple but with awesome melodies, hypnotic". (2013)

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