Wednesday 22 October 2014

Von Westernhagen Part IV: Ellen Homilius and Thilo's Sonnengesang from 1986

Another gorgeous cover painting! (credited to Franziska Stubenrauch).

I guess in this last mid-eighties installment from Thilo he tried to craft a Terry Riley-like minimalist new wave opus with his singer Ellen Homilius.  Was it successful?  Not to my ears.  In compensation, or perhaps rather as punishment, the record is almost 60 minutes long-- !

This sort of thing was perhaps fashionable back in the day, but today, due to the paucity of musical content, seems a bit scarce in terms of comfortable listening.  For the tired ear, there is so little emotional progression to track.  However, the return to acoustics at the conclusion does provide a level of comfort similar to that of finding a Starbucks with a clean washroom after walking through downtown Kowloon in Hong Kong all afternoon, or perhaps even more appropriately, after walking through central Paris in need of same relief...

I should mention, with regards to the subject of this record, the description just above Thilo reads:

"Composed by T. von Westernhagen.  Words based on the 'Cantico del sole' by Francesco d'Assisi and excerpts from the 'Message' of Chief Seattle."

So it's very much an ecological treatise set to music.  It's not a little ironic to me that synthesizers and electronic instruments are used to appreciate the natural world of mother earth.

When she starts talking about how the 'sight of your cities pains the eyes' one can't help but reflect on how the sound of his percussion pains one's ears...

I include the last Cantico and Message from the end of side one as pretty representative of the whole:

Some of course I know will love this opus.


  1. thilo 4


  2. Hi Julian, would it be possible for you to upload the lossless again, thanks