I long ago got turned on to C.G. Deuter while exploring the Worldlier aspects of branches of the psychedelic prog musics forming the core of my music affinities. In and around the time, Paul Horn, Oregon, Herbie Mann, and a number of jazzers were also delving into international styles, and so I was fortunate to have them as determinants rather than the soon-following mega-goop individuals and ensembles composing what I like to refer to as ‘incense shop music’ (too much of the New Age movement). I nabbed a number of Deuter’s Kuckuck label vinyl releases, and every one of them still resides in my immense, permanent, pantheistic collection. But, as with so many artists amid my wide-ranging critical pieces, I kinda fell away from his ongoing work.
Therefore, it was with a pleasant shock that, in doing a dab of research, I discovered the guy has released between one and four discs for most of the years from 1971 forward, totaling more than 60. Yow!!! His latest, Immortelle, shows me and anyone who cares to lend an ear, that he’s lost not a whit of his 45 year cultivation of quiet talents and acumen, a collection of slow tranquil beauty verging on the symphonic and dedicated to healing plants residing in the holistic medical arts catalogue. ‘Immortelle’ is the name of one of those herbs, and other tracks are variously titled “Vervain”, “Lily of the Valley”, “Cumaru”, and so on.
Myself having interned in holistic applications of biokinesiology, I came to appreciate the profound utilizations of herbs and other substances that are vastly more effective than the mostly trash pharmaceuticals vended by the pernicious AMA and acolytes of allopathy, so all songs here have special meaning for me, providing sonic insights I never would have expected…but Deuter is and always has been a very serious cat when it comes to Eastern philosophies and practices. I’ll note with a chuckle and grin that marijuana was not selected to be tributized, though it’s the most miraculous plant on planet Earth, but I’ll also aver that, as a zenarchist, I more than understand the pragmatisms one must observe artistically on a benighted planet such as ours.
The cover to Immortelle is equally revealing, depicting Shiva and Shakti locked in blissful Yin-Yang yabyum (um…sex, y’all!), beautifully painted in dominantly aqua tones by Ma Deva Padma, an art piece at one with the far more elevated Eastern notions of healing. Aficionados will recall similar objets d’art re: Heruka, Padmasambhava, Chakrasamvara, and other deities in naughty museums world-wide. Thank God not every country is as blindered as the U.S. In each cut of this CD, Deuter plays all instruments – keyboards, cello, guitar, vocals – with great skill and discernment, frequently, as with the closing “Cumaru” and elsewhere, demonstrating his long-held Satie-vian estate, attaining to terrene and cosmic transcendencies such as Brian Eno and brother Roger created during aspects of their extraordinary ambient periods.
Immortelle is a sublime work of music, and I suspect all who have engaged in the holistic arts, either as practitioner or “laity”, will find it extremely poignant and often revelatory. I exaggerate not one iota. However, do not dread, !o ye poor mortals!, if you’re not of that ilk, having been occupied by unimportant matters like, uh, working for a living, paying the mortgage, raising kids, and generally trying to survive this mad hyper-capitalist hell realm, ‘cause such sonorities are meant for all, none excepted. I’ll be listening to this a number of times because, I josh not, there are planes and dimensions here that I did not even grasp until I read of and understood the plant-music connection…and, if there’s anything that sets my cynical, stony, lil’ critic’s heart beating more rapidly, it’s the prospect of gaining new knowledge and new intriguing experiences…and, of course, new music from a long-established master.