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Flight of the Condor (BBC)

GUEST,keberoxu 01 Nov 15 - 11:22 AM
GUEST,# 01 Nov 15 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 01 Nov 15 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,# 01 Nov 15 - 08:14 PM
keberoxu 08 Nov 15 - 12:43 PM
keberoxu 15 Nov 15 - 08:23 PM
keberoxu 16 Nov 15 - 04:58 PM
keberoxu 24 Nov 15 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,David 22 Jan 17 - 03:48 PM
keberoxu 22 Jan 17 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,jojofilkagogo 26 Jan 17 - 11:50 AM
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Subject: Flight of the Condor (BBC)
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 11:22 AM

In the 1980's, the BBC broadcast "The Flight of the Condor," a nature program in three episodes, with footage of the Andes mountains and the wildlife that inhabit them. I believe that US public television broadcast this program here in North America as I seem to recall watching the show at home. Visually it was state-of-the-art camera work, and it definitely held one's interest. I vaguely recall a poignant scene that was NOT an aerial flight over mountains. In it we are reminded that condors are scavengers and carrion eaters. A fawn has just died, and the doe, its mother, does not want to leave the body even though it is dead; and all these carrion birds, way bigger than mama deer, are standing around waiting for dinner, while mama deer looks around helplessly. The denouement of that drama was not shown. A scene like that does linger in the memory somehow.

Then there is the way the show sounded. The narrator spoke English. And the soundtrack music was something else again: music selected to represent the South American countries in the Andean mountain chain. Inti-Illimani was not the only group on the soundtrack, but the majority of the musical pieces came from Inti-Illimani.

I never did go out and buy the products that came from the broadcast. However, many other people did. Although these things have never been re-issued in any digital format, the original products are still being sold second-hand if you know where to look. More specifically:
the footage itself is on VHS tape.
The soundtrack is on a long-playing vinyl record.

And there was a sequel called Return of the Condor, but I have no recollection of that program.

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Subject: RE: Flight of the Condor (BBC)
From: GUEST,#
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 01:22 PM

There's an hour of it.

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Subject: RE: Flight of the Condor (BBC)
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 05:31 PM

Looking at second-hand sources, such as sellers at the Amazon websites, I discover that the VHS tape is, as the post above states, one hour. That is the approximate length of a single one of the three episodes in the program series. The customers complain too! One customer comment thanks the PREVIOUS customers who pointed out that the videotape amounted to only one-third of the program, and says she is going to wait until the day that the entire three hours are released in order to buy anything.

Before the Chilean group Inti-Illimani split up, there were contracts in place, renewed on a regular basis, delegating certain responsibilities to certain members of the group. For example, Horacio Salinas was the music director but did not have some of the other responsibilities. Horacio Duran, on the other hand, composed neither words nor music; but he was one of two members who took on the legal and contractual situations -- until he quit.

In 2008, after the split, an interview with Horacio Duran -- now a member of "Inti-Illimani Historico," in compliance with the arbitration ruling -- touched on this topic. Following is a translation of the pertinent excerpt.

Journalist: You made two recordings with the BBC, "Flight of the Condor" and "Return of the Condor," records which are much sought-after by collectors.

Duran: That is a problem. I personally don't have so much as a copy of the vinyl LP. I know it was never published on compact disc. They sold an enormous quantity of these records, I don't recall well, something like 200,000 copies, but it was a recorded product which was well received and which sold well, and at the time we did not know that. It is some ten years ago that I tried to contact the recording department of the BBC, since they published so many records, soundtracks of programs, of concerts. They answered that this entire line of products had been handed over to a different recording label, and from there I could not inquire or make further contact. The album remains out of print, the product isn't made any more, and that is all we know. This is unfortunate because it was an interesting disc, and we do not have the possibility to release it on compact disc, because this is a matter for the producers and owners of the recording. We were no more than performing artists, we were not producers, and thus the decision is not ours to make, because we do not own the master. We would like to have the possibility of publishing it again.

Journalist: Or should it be considered a lost recording?

Duran: Look, it is a question of conducting a search. There are vinyl-LP collectors all over the world. We ourselves know of two collectors who are very serious about it, but it has to be out there someplace. Like it or not, it sold 200,000 copies.

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Subject: RE: Flight of the Condor (BBC)
From: GUEST,#
Date: 01 Nov 15 - 08:14 PM

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Subject: RE: Flight of the Condor (BBC)
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 Nov 15 - 12:43 PM

As you might expect from Inti-Illimani, a recording and performing band that has been in existence for over forty years, there are multiple versions of their recorded repertoire on the market. This is no less true of the songs and instrumental dances which Inti-Illimani recorded in the studio for inclusion in the BBC soundtrack.

"Canto de Pueblos Andinos" is an Inti-Illimani album at least thirty years old, but it is now in compact-disc format and readily available online. (My CD copy is on the Monitor label.)

On the compact disc itself, the tracklist of titles has asterisks beside some of the titles. And the asterisk indicates a statement printed directly on the disc (and NOT on the liner notes):

"Recorded by Inti-Illimani for 'The Flight of the Condor,' the BBC TV film shown frequently on public television."

on the "Canto de Pueblos Andinos" album, these tracks are in that category:

Papel de Plata
Tema de la Quebrada de Humahuaca
La Mariposa
A Vos Te H'ai Pesar

"Sicuriadas," by the way, is an instrumental tour-de-force for the Andean panpipes, sometimes called 'sicu' or 'zampona.'

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Subject: RE: Flight of the Condor (BBC)
From: keberoxu
Date: 15 Nov 15 - 08:23 PM

My mistake: GUANACO, not deer. It was a mama guanaco and her baby.

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Subject: RE: Flight of the Condor (BBC)
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Nov 15 - 04:58 PM

North American viewers, with a better memory than mine, will already have noticed what I missed. There is an important link between The Flight of the Condor, which began as BBC product and is also linked to EMI in terms of the sound track, and the many viewers who recall seeing this program outside of the Uk.

The missing link is the PBS series Nature. Until I searched further, I did not realize the significance of this connection.

George Page, who hosted Nature for PBS, had his eye on the BBC from the beginning, according to Fred Kaufman who now responds to inquiries from the press regarding Nature on PBS. Page acted directly in order to acquire distribution rights from the BBC, and to inaugurate the brand-new PBS program Nature, in 1982, with The Flight of the Condor. So this three-hour series was used in the US to launch a PBS network product and to set the tone for all the Nature programs that followed.

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Subject: RE: Flight of the Condor (BBC)
From: keberoxu
Date: 24 Nov 15 - 04:18 PM

translated and excerpted from "La cancion en el sombrero," author Horacio Salinas of Inti-Illimani. Recollections of the 1982 release of the Flight of the Condor soundtrack.

"The Flight of the Condor" was recorded in Rome in just one afternoon. A job by commission (encargo). A London producer for the BBC came to us, having been impressed with the beauty of the condor in flight over the high ranges of the Andes. He needed the music from our instruments in order to realize a television program. We did it all in four or five hours. When there were two quena parts in harmony, I had to play one of the quenas, because Marcelo Coulon did not participate that time. The success of the recording assured us the sale of many discs, and a prize from London."

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Subject: RE: Flight of the Condor (BBC)
From: GUEST,David
Date: 22 Jan 17 - 03:48 PM

I remember watching 'The Flight of the Condor' in the UK in 1982 as a schoolboy. The photography was amazing and the soundtrack was and is beautiful. I'd love to get a copy on CD but haven't found one yet. Used copies of the vinyl record seems to be available on the 'net (eBay etc.) published by the BBC.

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Subject: RE: Flight of the Condor (BBC)
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 Jan 17 - 06:03 PM

Hi, is that David C Carter? Welcome, in any case.

As posted on 8 November 2015,
a CD exists on the Monitor label -- available in my native US, that is -- of "Canto de Pueblos Andinos" which actually says that some of its tracks were on the Flight of the Condor soundtrack.

At Amazon dot com, I am looking at a listing for
"Canto de Pueblos Andinos 2" on Monitor. The artists are Inti Illimani.
The album has 19 tracks.
Of these, the "Flight of the Condor" tracks are
3, 6,7,8,9, 12, and 17.

When I look at Amazon dot co dot uk,
the same album on the same label is available. Hope this helps.

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Subject: RE: Flight of the Condor (BBC)
From: GUEST,jojofilkagogo
Date: 26 Jan 17 - 11:50 AM

Wekl, well, well . . . I have this wonderful L.P. bouggt it when I first saw the tv series - it's a great album ! Jo

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