“Two memorials in the heart of America. Two hours’ drive but worlds apart. Mount Rushmore is an icon of the United States, attracting millions of visitors each year. The Wounded Knee Massacre Site receives just a handful of visitors each day.”
“Do the (Mount Rushmore) visitors know that the granite spires of the Black Hills into which the presidents were carved are sacred to the Indians of the Midwest? What happens when the perspective is reversed?”
The music is inspired by (and dedicated to) the legendary Florian Fricke, who created soundtracks with Popol Vuh for many Werner Herzog movies.
Could a documentary on this subject originate from within the United States itself? Or is is a view from the outside, a foreigner’s view, from someone wondering how this could have come to be?
In any way, the alienating effect is multiplied by Stephan Mathieu‘s immensely desolate drones, which are about the exact opposite of all kinds of ‘Native American Music’.
It may be difficult for ‘outsiders’ to understand the impact of the comparision between Wounded Knee and Mount Rushmore.
Or, as is stated in the short vocal snippet opening the album: “And you don’t know unless you’re here…You.just.don’t.know.”
Released as download-only album on his very own Schwebung weblabel, “Sacred Ground” is available in standard digital formats, but also as 24/96 kHZ FLAC for those that want to hear every subtle detail.
The download also contains a 11-page PDF booklet, designed by Caro Mikalef, containing black & white movie stills for every different track.
STEPHAN MATHIEU – THE ONCE GREAT PEOPLE