Gurdjieff's Daughter

Album: Short Movie (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • A shaman that Marling met inspired in her an interest in mysticism. This led to the English singer hunting down everything she could find about the Chilean filmmaker, author and spiritual guru Alejandro Jodorowsky. This surreal track was written about some advice that the Armenian spiritual teacher George Gurdjieff gave to his daughter, which she passed on through an encounter with Jodorowsky at a film premiere.

    Marling told NME: "I was reading Joborowsky's biography. There is this absolutely brilliant moment where he meets Gurdjieff's daughter. Gutdjieff is like a spiritual teacher, a philosophical cult leader, and this daughter tracked Jodorowsky down at a première of El Topo in Mexico City to tell him he needed to brush up on his metaphysical skills because he's going to be a really important part of humanity. She said, 'I've been sent to teach you all these things.'"

    "They ended up in a hotel room together, and she reeled off this list of his sayings, his rules for living, of how to be a moral human being."

    "I pretty much turned that verbatim into a song. Like one of them is 'Don't share orders for the pleasure of being obeyed' and another is 'Don't be impressed by big personalities.'"
  • The song's music video finds Marling wandering through her former east Los Angeles home. It includes cameos from several friends of hers, including Rostam Batmanglij from Vampire Weekend, American musician Jonathan Wilson, British singer/songwriter Marika Hackman and British actress Rhian Rees.

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