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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Music: Eberhard Schoener, Events


I discovered the music of Eberhard Schoener a long time ago, when I was a teenager. Eberhard Schoener is a german musician, composer and director. He made a lot of great albums. My favorite one is called Events:

The guy who ran the hifi/record store in which I bought my very first system and also most of my early records recommended this album to me. Back then I liked everything with synthesizers (not so common in those days, end of 70ies/early 80ies. Especially anything that was weird and combined different styles. The guy in the store knew my taste very well. One day when I entered the store he pulled this album from the shelf and said: Listen to this, you will like it. He was so right and I still like it!.

Eberhard Schoener has a classic music education. He studied the violin and conducted several orchestras. Later he discovered his love for electronic instruments like the Moog, Fairlight CMI, Mellotron and Oberheim. Besides conducting and recording albums he did many different projects, life events and also film music for some famous german TV crime serieses.

Schoener often fuses very different music styles. Different instruments or musicians from very different cultures

I once attended one of his life events which was fabulous. It took place on the premises of an abandoned steel plant. One of the highlights was the appearance of italian singer Gianna Nanini at the same time with a local marching band. You would think these cannot be more different, yet they played together and it was great!

One of the lesser know facts is that Schoener actually 'discovered' Andy Summers long before he got famous as Sting. Summers appears on several of Schoener's albums.

The album Events was released 1980 on EMI Electrola. It is a great example of his ability to fuse different styles together to something entirely new. The opening track called 'Fairlight 80' starts with some funky synth sounds. A female vocalist is accompanied by the fairlight synthesizer and during some parts by an electric guitar. Track two is totally different, a romantic ballad called 'Margaret'. Track 3 'When Colours die' is again quite funky. On track 4, the last track of the first side of the LP it gets really interesting. Musicians from Bali play their traditional instruments along with a funky electric rock guitar. The track swings back and forth between the balineese sytle and Rock/Funk. Side two of the LP is quite different. The first track called Events like the album contains some of Schoener's most atmospheric synth sounds with underlying guitar riffs and the occasional vocal fragment thrown in. During the second half of the track a mix of balineese and rock percussion kicks in and the guitar gets very funky.

The second track of side two is rather calm, dominated by synth sounds. To my taste the least interesting track on the album. Track 3 'Magical Echoes' is great again and rather magical as the title implies. It opens with the Hungarican Philharmonic Orchestra which Schoener used to conduct. Then the sytnths take over with atmospheric sounds and rythmic sequencers. The track keeps swinging back and forth between classical and electronic instruments.

If you like strange music and a mix of styles, get this vinyl and savor it!

Best regards



  1. Hi,
    if you like Schoener, do you know that he performed the music to the film "Aguirre, Wrath of God". One of my top 10 films of all times, a spectaculat performance by Klaus Kinski and just as spectacular cinematography. My favorites are the opening scene, the spanish soldiers slowly descending a misty path down in the amazon jungle. But perhaps the most intriguing is the violent choreography of waves on a muddy brown mountain stream, both just accompanied by Schoeners music.
    If you don`t know it, have a look at it!
    Greeetings, Harry.

    n.b. i live quite far away in norway, but i would love to meet you one day, hear at some of your designs. we`ll see about that.

  2. Hi Harry,

    thanks for the tipp. I was not aware of this movie. I will get it. You ar ewelcome to stop by when you visit Germany

    Best regards


  3. Hi Harry,

    got the movie, it is great. But the music is not from Schoener. It is from a band called Popol Vuh

    Best regards


  4. hi thomas,
    i got tricked by a iTunes, where the track aguirre on "musique mecanique" is wrongly labeled with schoeners name. correct would have been fricke /popol vuh.

    these are the dangers of the digital age, where hastily gathered results easily get taken as definite truths. but - you discovered a new movie - i discovered another fun corner of the musical universe. :-)

    greetings, harry

  5. Hi Harry,

    yeah, never take anything for granted that you read online ;-)
    I actually also listened to Popol Vuh, when I was a teenager. The sound track of the movie brought back old memories. More topics for future music posts.

    Thanks for recommending that movie!


  6. Hallo Thomas

    Als ebenfalls großer Fan von Eberhard Schoener möchte ich noch zwei Hinweise geben. Zuerst das Album Video Magic von Schoener, auf dem die gesamte spätere Police-Truppe versammelt ist, also Andy Summers, Gordon "Sting" Sumners und Stewart Copeland.


    Für mich ist das die schönste Platte von Schoener. Das eine oder andere Stück findet man auf youtube:


    Und weiter möchte ich an das Album Sarabande von Jon Lord erinnern, auf dem Schoener die Philharmonia Hungarica dirigierte und "zufällig" auch wieder Andy Summers an der Gitarre zu hören ist.



  7. Hallo Michael,

    danke für Deinen Kommentar und die ausführlichen Empfehlungen. Das Album Video Magic habe ich natürich auch und es ist ebenfalls sehr gut. Auch die Alben Time Square und Trance-Formation sind hörenswert.

    Viele Grüße