Faun – Day 3 @ Faerieworlds
Faerieworlds * August 2, 2009 * 7-8:45 pm * Mt. Pisgah, Eugene, Oregon *
Somehow I didn’t come to expect that I’d be blessed and lucky enough to see my favorite band twice at this festival. This time, for the finale for Faerieworlds, they played in the daylight as evening was just arriving on Sunday August 2, during family faerie day. An amazing spiral dance was danced to them. So very empowering. I have never been more mesmerized and enchanted by a musical ensemble before until my experiences with “Faun”. The name of the band comes from the Ancient Greek-Roman mythology term for the Deity “Faunus” or “Pan” which is represented as a forested spirit and is why Oliver Pade, one of the main singers, is nicknamed “Satyr” as it is very related to “Faunus”. Faun is a extremely talented German Pagan Folk / Darkwave band that was formed in 2002 by Oliver “SaTyr” Pade, Elisabeth Pawelke, Fiona Rüggeberg and Birgit Muggenthaler. The same year they released their first album “Zaubersprüche” which included the guest musician Niel Mitra who later joined the band as the only member playing electronic instruments. They were joined by percussionist Rüdiger Maul in 2004 replacing Birgit who joined the folk-rock band “Schandmaul”. They lost Elisabeth Pawelke in 2008 as she went to focus her studies in classical song in Basel, Switzerland and was succeeded by Sandra Elflein. Faun takes extreme pride and admiration in the use and incorporation of “ancient” & Medieval instruments that they are quite well known for such as the Celtic Harp, Swedish Nyckelharpa, Hurdy Gurdy, Bagpipes, Cittern, Flutes, Drums, and assortment of stringed instruments; merging them with modern inspiration and in some instances, synthesizing. Singing of old tales, epics, and sagas are the heart of their music incorporating their very skilled grasp of many languages they use in their music, including German, Latin, Modern German, Middle High German, Old Icelandic, West Low German, Hungarian, Finnish, Ladino, and Scandinavian. The band is very proudly inspired and dedicated to “nature” bringing back much of the lost Pagan, Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance flavor of high-admiration for nature, mythology, folklore, and woodland spirits/faeries. Oliver Pade said at the 2004 Summer Darkness festival in Utrecht, Netherlands “We don’t know ourselves what kind of music we play, so we call it paganfolk”. Historical and folk tunes blended in world music with a folk twist, ranging from melancholic ballads, ancient Perso-Arab melodies, Swedish nyckelharpa, Middle High German lyrics, to exuberant dances like the Brittanic An Dro, and Medieval/Goth club tunes.
Faun consists of Oliver Sa Tyr who does vocals, bosouki, nyckelharpa, mandocello, celtic harp, saz, tar, guitar, various lutes, and the jews harp; Sandra Elflein who also does vocals, recorders, hurdy-gurdy, and plays violin; Fiona Rüggeberg also one of the important vocals, blended with her recorders, whistles, bagpipes, rebab, fujara, harmonium, chalmeux, pommer, and seljefloit; Rüdiger Maul the percussionist brings in the tar, darabouka, bendir, tamborello, berimbao, riq, davul, panriqello, darabukka, timba, gaxixi and many other percussion instruments; while Niel Mitra as the only electronic instrument player spices the stage up with his sequencer, sampler, synthesizer, FL Studio, Buzz, Logic Audio, tascam us 224, boss dr 202, Korg Alpha, granular synthesis, folder synthesis, feedbacks, and sounds he has taken from nature and everyday life. The Former members as mentioned were Elisabeth Pawelke who sang vocals and played the hurdy gurdy (the instrument of which I believe Sandra Elflein has taken over); and Birgit Muggenthaler who did whistles, bagpipes, shawm, and vocals. Albums produced by this writing: Zaubersprüche (2002); Licht (2004); Lichtbilder (DVD, 2004); Renaissance (2005); Totem (2007); “Ornament” (DVD: 2007); FAUN & The Pagan Folk Festival – Live feat. Sieben & In Gowan Ring (2008); and Unplugged (2009). They have performed at over 450 locations, festivals, concert halls, and churches throughout Europe including but not limited to Mèra Luna Festival (Germany), Elf Fantasy Fair (Netherlands), Wave Gotik Treffen (Germany), Fiesta Celtica Biella (Italy), Zillo Open Air, Folkwoods Folkfestival (Netherlands), Arena van Vletingen (Belgium), Savari Karneval 2005 (Hungary), Palladius/Barcelona (Spain), Estragon (Italy). Between the distributor Curzweyhl / Rough Trade (Germany) and the Label “Noir Records” (USA) they have sold more than 80,000 CDs worldwide. Also their latest studio CD “TOTEM” reached rank 78 of the german (media control) album charts, rank 6 of the german alternativ charts and rank 1 of the german medieval charts. Seeing them in full concert with Neil’s amazing artistry added in completely blew me away. Simply Amazing. Rating: 5+ stars out of 5.