FOR THE GOLEM:
"While everyone else was enjoying the Stooges late Saturday night, I
decided to go to church. The Central Presbyterian Church on Eighth
Street was an official venue, but I don’t think it had been totally
prepared for Gary Lucas. First, the New York City guitarist provided
a stunning solo live soundtrack to the 1920 silent film Der Golem, a
German horror classic. With an incredible rack of effects pedals,
Lucas proved he could make a guitar sound like almost anything on the
"In the Central Presbyterian Church's wood interior, towering arches
and reverent ambience, Lucas provided a mesmerizing soundtrack to the
1920 German Expressionism classic, Der Golem. Donning his customary
wide-brimmed hat and switching back and forth from an amplified
acoustic guitar to an aqua-green Fender Stratocaster, both channeled
through an armada of foot pedals, Lucas created a spectacular mélange
of eerie and otherworldly sounds that ricocheted dramatically around
"Eglise St. Jean Baptise was a spectacular setting for the 1920 German
silent film The Golem, with sweeping, impressionist soundtrack by
former Captain Beefheart guitarist Gary Lucas. The screen was huge,
the ornate ceiling seemingly miles high, the film awash in
overexposure and melodrama. An early bet for one of this year's
|THE GAZETTE (MONTREAL), 10/2006|
"Lucas's undefinable coup of a score to the 20s German expressionist
film The Golem blended non-Klezmer Jewish roots with jazz and whatever
else would evoke the film’s eerie cosmology -- he performs it next week at
Rubin Museum of Art. His shape-shifting music is still among the more
sophisticated expressions of a cultural consciousness."
"CAPTAIN BEEFHEART GUITARIST GARY LUCAS HAS BEEN INSPIRING YOUNGER PLAYERS SINCE THE 80'S. HE RECENTLY RELEASED A DVD OF HIS MOMENTOUS SCORE OF THE 1920 GERMAN EXPRESSIONIST SILENT HORROR-FANTASY FILM 'THE GOLEM', THE TALE OF A 16th CENTURY RABBI WHO MADE A MAN OUT OF CLAY TO SAVE THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF PRAGUE FROM TERMINATION. HAUNTINGLY BRILLIANT AND METICULOUSLY TIMED."
"THE GODS AND MONSTERS BANDLEADER EMPHASISES THE LATTER WHENEVER HE
UNLEASHES HIS OFTEN NIGHTMARISH SOLO GUITAR ACCOMPANIMENT TO THE SILENT
1920 GERMAN EXPRESSIONIST FILM. YOU WON'T HAVE TO LOOK FAR FOR
CONTEMPORARY PARALLELS TO THE STORY OF A RABBI'S CREATION OF A CLAY
MONSTER TO FORESTALL A JEWISH COMMUNITY'S DESTRUCTION."
"For a new generation of Jewish artists, the clay creatures are the metaphor of the moment. Along with Thane Rosenbaum's "The Golems of Gotham" (HarperCollins), another novel is due out with a golem theme in March, Ben Schrank's "Consent." Downtown, the Manhattan Ensemble Theater is presenting a new adaptation of H. Leivick's 1921 play "The Golem," with its world premiere in April. Guitarist Gary Lucas continues to present his original solo guitar score for the 1920 classic film "The Golem" and the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan is devoting the evening of Feb. 19 to the question of today's golems.
"I'm in the golem business," Gary Lucas says. A New York composer, guitarist and recording artist who has performed his original score for "The Golem" in 15 countries around the world since its New York premiere in 1989, he adds, "I think I'm a prime instigator of golem revival in America."
He got involved with this project after screening a print of the 1920 silent film at the Museum of Modern Art. "It has the most fantastic imagery and was crying out for a good musical score." Since childhood, he's been a fan of the horror and science fiction genre and also a lover of music, Jewish culture and lore. His favorite author is Isaac Bashevis Singer, and as a kid, he "wanted to be a vampire or a rabbi." When asked about the legend's contemporary resonance, he says that it's "fertile ground for discussion and debate of the place of humankind tampering with things best left undisturbed."
Lucas will be performing his work sometime this year in the New York area and at Dragon Con 2002, the world's largest science fiction festival, in Atlanta in August. His short story, "Me and the Golem," will be published next year in an anthology "Kabbalah: The Wisdom of Solomon."."
|The Jewish Week, Sandee Brawarsky - Jewish Week Book Critic, February 8, 2002 (excerpt, full article can be found here)|
"BRINGS THE OUTER REACHES OF SPACE MUSIC INTO THE CINEMATIC REALM...the spectacle of technology and artistry, illuminating the mythic shadows of centuries, is an uncommonly thrilling, multi-sensory experience. Lucas uses a setup that allows him to achieve a sonic landscape where he can travel freely, letting his enormously fertile imagination roam unfettered."
|PROGRESSION MAGAZINE, Winter/Spring 2001|
"EXPRESSIONIST SPOOKINESS, OOZING AND TREMBLING LIKE CLAY...the guitarist has been performing his accompaniment for over ten years now, and its return is welcome. The score puts his improviser's command of effects and tonal eccentricities in the service of the movie."
"IMAGES OF OLD WORLD EUROPE AND THE NEW CONTINENT...correspondences were
drawn in Gary Lucas' live soundtrack to The Golem, where he fused avant
guitar trickery, blues slide and FX to underscore the feelings of awe,
enchantment and horror to a faded but nevertheless wonderful version of
the old Czech Jewish legend."
|THE WIRE (UK), review of Lucas' performance at Nick Cave's Meltdown Festival, 9/99|
"ONE OF THE MELTDOWN FESTIVAL'S HIGHLIGHTS was New York guitarist Gary
Lucas and his affecting solo soundtrack to the 1920 chiller The Golem."
"THE COMBINATION IS INSPIRED...guitar virtuoso Gary Lucas has been working on his original, suitably uncanny score for this silent German Expressionist classic for some time."
"INSTANT SYNCHRONICITY BETWEEN THE FILM AND THE MUSIC...Lucas' swirl of sound finds a way to add some psychedelic caprice to the intrigue of Paul Wegener's 1920 silent classic."
"ACCOMPANYING THE FILM, LUCAS' MUSIC MAKES FOR A THRILLING LISTENING EXPERIENCE...his quality and commitment also revealed itself in his lengthy explication of the film at the beginning of the concert and in his readiness to continue this discussion at the end. Lucas began his score with 6 distinct recurring themes and almost 30 leit-motivs."
|SUDWEST PRESSE (Germany), 10/97|
"LUCAS SUCCEEDS IN CREATING A WORLD BETWEEN BLACK AND WHITE, LIGHT AND DARKNESS, IN THE COLORS OF A WHIRLING DEMONIC FANTASY...what he conjures up with his guitars and diverse effects takes on orchestral dimensions. Lucas rises into extremities of sound which convey both the archetypal story of the Golem itself and also put it into its historical context and contemporary significance. WELL DONE, GARY LUCAS."
|LEIPZIGER VOLKSZEITUNG (Germany), 1/98|
"LUCAS' DARK, MONSTROUS SCORE draws on Jewish melodies and classical music with a science-fiction flavor. It'll give you goosebumps."
"HIS COSMIC MAJESTY GARY LUCAS...the American guitarist proved his extraordinary qualities again...Lucas' show can only be described in superlatives. The famous instrumentalist played with an epic psychedelic sensibility which brought the Czech earthly man to Lucas' cosmic kingdom. 'The Golem' overflows with a strata of motifs, hundreds of specific sounds, dark tremolos and feedback. Lucas' fantasy is fathomless, his performance strikes your heart and starts penetrating your whole body like a life-giving medicine."
|DENNI TELEGRAF (PRAGUE) 7/96|
"OVERWHELMING MUSIC...Lucas is the Semitic reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix."
|HAMBURG MORGENPOST, 11/93|
"5 STARS...Electric Ladyland meets Low."
|MUSIK EXPRESS, Germany, 9/91|
"A FRESH MUSICAL SCORE BY A BRILLIANT GUITARIST...a mind-blowing experience. Gary Lucas is an amazing, unorthodox guitar player who ought to be a star, and soon."
|TWIN CITIES READER (Minnesota), 8/91|
"A MAJOR TALENT just waiting to be packaged, promoted and sold like proverbial hotcakes...smart Minneapolitan folks can still say they discovered this godlike, monstrous guitar boy before the masses caught on."
"BEST WORK: guitarist extraordinaire Lucas...creating science fiction score for fantasy flick 'The Golem.'"
"MUSIC TO 'THE GOLEM,' full of mystery, shows a Lucas in great shape."
|OOR MAGAZINE, Netherlands, 6/91|
"EXCITING...The inventive guitarist Gary Lucas builds a wall of sound."
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