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When there are no words to describe a landscape, then, perhaps, only music can do it...

There are environments which are difficult to represent. The desert, for example, escapes and refuses to be contained within a frame, as it is and at the limit of the impossible to write about it in a poem or a short story. Perhaps, the only way to project the desert in the head of a person who is not there in the middle of it is with music.
One man has done it, his name is Ry Cooder. Ry was born in 1947 in Santa Monica (California), at just three years old he began to play the guitar and, whilst growing up, in the manner of a true explorer he approached many kinds of music, studying them and giving them roots.
During his career Cooder has worked with all the greatest: Taj Mahal, Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Ali Farka Touré, The Chieftains, Manuel Galban. In 1980 he began to collaborate with a lot of film directors to write soundtracks and, in this very field, Ry has managed to capture the desert and bring it into the grooves of a vinyl record.
It is 1984 when the film Paris, Texas, directed by Wim Wenders is released. The film is not one of the German director’s best, but the soundtrack is something exciting.
Everything is pervaded by Ry’s acoustic guitar played with the slide technique which is so clear and vivid as to seem present in the room while one is listening to the record. The production, by Cooder himself, is so respectful to the sound of the six strings he is able to render the taste of the wood in every single note, from the title track that opens the album right up until the final Dark Was The Night.
Ten tracks for a virtual journey, or perhaps even spiritual, in the desert landscape created by Ry Cooder.

[ Gualtiero Tronconi ]

i© Sony Pictures.

original title Paris, Texas
genre dramatic
nationality West Germany, France, UK
production year 1984
rating all ages
duration 147 minutes
director Wim Wenders
plot Sam Shepard
screenplay Sam Shepard, L.M. Kit Carson
photography Robby Müller
editing Peter Przygodda
music Ry Cooder
settings Kate Altman

The poster of Paris, Texas (1984), directed by Wim Wenders.
© Sony Pictures.

iRy Cooder. © Susan Titelman.

i© Sony Pictures.

iRy Cooder. © Vincent Valdez.

iRy Cooder. © Vincent Valdez.

Ry Cooder through music has created, the atmosphere and the landscapes narrated in the film Paris, Texas. The soundtrack of the film later became a music album in its own right, produced by Ry Cooder himself. Here is the list of tracks on the disc:

1 - Paris, Texas (2:57 min.) © Ry Cooder
2 - Brothers (2:07 min.) © Ry Cooder
3 - Nothing Out There (1:35 min.) © Ry Cooder
4 - A Canción Mixteca (4:17 min.) © Ry Cooder/Traditional
5 - No Safety Zone (1:55 min.) © Ry Cooder
6 - Houston in Two Seconds (2:07 min.) © Ry Cooder
7 - She's Leaving the Bank (6:02 min.) © Ry Cooder / Jim Dickinson
8 - On the Couch (1:32 min.) © Ry Cooder
9 - I Knew These People (8:43 min.) © Ry Cooder
10 - Dark Was the Night (2:52 min.) © Ry Cooder / Blind Willie Johnson.

The cover of the album that contains the soundtrack to Paris, Texas, produced by Ry Cooder.

Music By Ry Cooder - To all music fans, and those who want to learn more about Ry Cooder’s music, we recommend listening to the compilation Music By Ry Cooder, available on Spotify.

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