new, universal one world music…

The Cologne trumpeter and composer, Markus Stockhausen is well known for his versatility, and this is further demonstrated in „Eternal Voyage“, the debut album of his new, world-music ensemble. Here is an album which overcomes genre borders, and above all emphasizes artistic beauty.

In short: Eternal Voyage contains many exhilarating moments and memorable musical themes. The music has great depth and lightness at the same time, it is also refreshingly imaginative and free. The musicians appear agreeably unpretentious and attentive, playful without losing the musical thread, dynamic and variegated. Eternal Voyage has been produced by a group of people whose roots are very different, but who have come together on the basis of friendship, respect and a common love of playing.

„Its your turn now“ was the motto for a sing-along concert at the Cologne Philharmonic Hall which Stockhausen produced in December 2008. For this concert, he put together a group of experimentally minded guest musicians with whom to play: his wife and duo-partner Tara Bouman on clarinet and bass clarinet; the pianist Florian Weber with whom Stockhausen now also performs in a duo; the young Lebanese singer Rabih Lahoud, whose voice Stockhausen discovered at a course in the summer of 2008; the Indian flautist Dinesh Mishra and the Greek percussionist Dimitrios Dorian Kokiousis.

The audience reacted very positively to this concert, and as a result Markus Stockhausen founded the group Eternal Voyage with these musicians. The present CD was recorded during the summer of 2009 at the „Fattoria Musica“, an excellent studio near Osnabrück. The final mix was done by Markus Stockhausen and his long-time associate Walter Quintus – a master of this art.

The first track Sabad begins like a call from another world, with the Indian flute followed by synthesizer, percussion and piano. Whispered, spoken arabic words, mysterious and low, join in. The musicians improvise sensitively with each other until the piece gains speed. Music and text find a common expression. The second track is instrumental. This composition by Stockhausen sounds as light and fresh as its title: Morning Breeze. It is a good example of harmonious ensemble playing by these virtuosic instrumentalists.

White Sail is related to the Greek myth about the death of Aigeus. Instruments and voice are woven together here both sensitively and thrillingly. A first climax is reached in the piece with a long held vocal phrase by Rabih Lahoud. He sounds powerful and he sounds small. One feels the desparate searching of a lost spirit. A still moment follows, and out of that comes the clear sound of the trumpet, like a white, sunlit sail emerging from the mist. The magical sound of the soft clarinet and the sweet bansuri-flute return to the addictive theme which makes this track the highlight of the CD. The oriental singer sings here in his own Lebanese dialect, as he does in the following track: Indian Tale, which was inspired by a theme by the Indian composer and flautist Dinesh Mishra. This music is a declaration of love for his homeland and musical roots.

Entrada is a magical, short piece. There is no text to be heard, but fine vocal lines enriched by the warm voice of the Chilean jazz singer Paz Miranda Francis. In the following Salida, both singers join in increasingly hot, two-part scat singing. The sparks really fly in this music, which is reminiscent of the funky sound of the 1970s. Markus Stockhausen quotes phrases from popular music on his trumpet, and simultaneously harmonizes with his left hand using an e-piano sound.

The track before last, Mutter (Mother), is a setting of a poem written by Lahoud for his mother when he was 14 years old. The moving Arabic text is performed with a very restrained piano accompaniment. The pianist Florian Weber understands perfectly, from the position of a highly educated German jazz musician, how to provide a sensitive accompaniment for his Arab partner.

The Blind is the album’s final track, and lasts a little more than 15 minutes. In a way, it is as if each of the players presents himself again and takes a bow. A special moment is dedicated to each of the voices in the sextet: powerful drums; virtuosic trumpet, whose notes dont want to end; tender bass clarinet; playful Indian flute; piano, sounding sometimes pearly, sometimes energetic; muted „sprechgesang“ and the peaceful surface which can be produced by a synthesizer.

Eternal Voyage is the the expression of a friendly, intercultural cooperation which we hope is going to continue. It is recommended to all those who love music. Here we get to the core of music, to what music can mean for anyone: a cross-cultural medium like a chalice which can be filled with feelings and passion, with form, beauty and power, which – with the help of each musician’s special abilities – can be transported directly into the heart of a sympathetic listener.

Press text by Christiane Teworte

Translation by James Ingram

September in 2010

Markus Stockhausen, D
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Synthesizer
Tara Bouman, NL / D
Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Rabih Lahoud, Libanon
Dinesh Mishra, Indien
Florian Weber, D
Dimitrios Dorian Kokiousis, GRE

Sabad 07:08
Morning Breeze 06:03
White Sail 10:55
Indian Tale 10:37
Entrada 02:14
Salida 02:30
Mutter 03:32
The Blind 15:13

Aktivraum, AR 10112

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I received the CD on Wednesday. It hasn’t been out of the CD player since!!! Even more stunning than I Imagined it to be. I am thrilled by every aspect of the disc. The compositions, musicianship and record production are all first rate!! Please pass on my regards to Markus Stockhausen and his band for producing such a wonderful CD. This is one to treasure for many years.
Best wishes, Nick

Nick Fletcher, guitarist, solo artist, Sheffield, UK