Teho Teardo, Music for Wilde Mann, Specula Records 2013
Charles Feger's latest book Wilder Mann is now in its second printing, so it is anything but a "limited edition" but I want it here on the Buffet to keep all of his other 15 books company. Not only is it a beautiful book about an amazing body of work, but now there is a music track available which was made specifically for the work. Often photographers talk about being inspired by music when photographing or working on their projects, this is a case of a musician composing an entire project inspired by images. The accomplished Italian composer and sound designer Teho Teardo has written 8 acoustic tracks inspired by the monsters in all of us.
"This album carries a profoundly moving feeling mixing strings, guitars and electronics, poignancy is the most evident feeling here. This music erases the space between our safe technological lifestyle and the monsters that live in territories as far as the eye can see. Savages inherited from a pagan tradition that quickly find their way into our own feelings." (Teho Teardo)
Charles spent several years traveling europe searching out groups of people which nurture historic pagan costume rituals.
"I was going on an excursion within tribal Europe, the polar opposite of our images of modern civilisations. I was entering into a territory of landscapes as far as the eye can see. Wilder Mann was its archetypal hero, half man half beast, a hairy monster, a multi-faceted devil, a bloodthirsty or soft teddy bear, a fertile caprine or a scapegoat wild boar. I had envisioned an organic wild man, hidden behind mud, grease, charcoal, the sculpted wood of his horned mask, covered in leaves or dead animals, wearing his bells noisily. I had already fantasised that he was like an animal belonging to a pack of crouching bipeds: the essential model of a zoomorphic figure, whose rudimentary appearance and ritualistic attire would classify him as belonging to a form of universal nudity". ( Charles Fréger)
He is a portrait photographer who often poses the question of what it means to belong to a group, to inhabit its history, to be part of a circle. After photographing such groups of people as water polo players, majorettes and sumo wrestlers, among many others, this series focuses on the Wilder Mann.
Initially inspired by the Krampus in and around Salzburg in 2009, Fréger began a Europe-wide exploration, in 18 countires, of similar rituals and cultural traditions involving the pagan traditions linked to the beginning and end of winter, the seasons, fertility, life and death. He has chosen to focus his survey on the transformation of man into beast, with interest in the mythology of the Wild Man, a cultural phenomenon which goes back many centuries and exists in many European countries to this date.
The disc will be released in a few days with Specula Records.
You might find copies of the first printing of Wilder Mann, it is was printed in French by Thames and Hudson, auf Deutsch bei Kehrer, and English by Dewi Lewis.