Sep 2, 2012

Nico's Last Concert - Fata Morgana (1988)

Fata Morgana - Desert Sounds In The Planetarium

"Fata Morgana" is, as fate wanted, Nico's final work. A live performance, or rather an audio-visual show at planetarium Wilhelm-Foerster-Sternwatre that happened, as part of the festival activities for "Berlin - Cultural European Capital", in early summer of 1988, just few weeks only before Nico's sudden passing away.
The theme of "Fata Morgana" is the moon deserts. Nico sings and plays (indian) organ, the rest instruments played by the band Faction (see also Nico/Faction collaboration on 1985 "Camera Obscura" album).
All compositions are written specifically for the needs of this event, apart from the ending "You Forget To Answer" which bridges the past with the berlin sky of that night absolutely shiveringly.
Nico's Last Concert was released initially on cd in 1994 and reissued recently (2011).

Lutz Ulbrich, organisator and producer of that performance writes about "Fata Morgana":

"In 1987 Martina Marx and i had the idea to organize 'fata morgana - desert sounds in the planetarium' for the festival year 'berlin - kulturstadt europas 1988'.
We at once thought of nico, who i had known for years since we had worked and lived together in the 70s. She had often told me how impressed she had been by the Death Valley, where she hung out with Jim Morisson and where she had been working on the film 'la cicatrice interieure' by Philippe Garrel, which they filmed at locations like Death Valley, Iceland and the Sahara, a picture of which you can see on the cover of 'Desertshore'. When i called her in Manchester to ask her to compose "music for a desert", she spontaneously proposed the stone desert of the moon as a theme. It was obvious, that her magical aura would enable her to turn the whole planetarium into a moon desert and become the highlight of the festival.
Nico arrived on the 4th of June together with her musicians the Faction and during the two days of rehearsal every listener became enthusiastic about the creative, dynamic and intense way in which Nico & the Faction were working.
Dr. Werner Celnic, director of the planetarium, who operated the optical effects and who completed the music with wonderful pictures and films of the moon, seemed to be in his element. To add to this we had installed 360° sound system which treated a unique sound event.
The  6th of June 1988 Nico gave a magnificent double concert in a sold out planetarium, from which this is the mix: Nico's last concert."