To simplify the source of music for live performances and to confront the growing love for vinyl and the frustration of putting together a band, I considered the concept of using a contemporary vinyl recording that I would personally play from a turntable on stage, to which I would lend vocalizations of various kinds. While recordings of my own compositions were not out of the question, the concept blossomed upon discovering the beautiful work All Melody from Nils Frahm, which was recommended to me by Lenny at Maoz Vinyl & Kaffee in Munich. Upon hearing it, I instantly – truly a lightning strike of intuition, which I trusted – wanted to apply the texts of Bowie and Eckhart, which would complement Frahm’s ethereal music and continue my artistic approach of juxtaposing contemporary themes with historical ones. In this case, the years between Eckhart and Bowie are almost 1000, yet the sentiments are similar in their esoteric associations of source, power, God, humankind, identity, joy, and love. In other words, timeless.
I had never heard of Nils Frahm before listening to the album. Upon finally reading the liner notes in the exquisite booklet included in the double album, I discovered that he recorded it at the Funkhaus in Berlin, where in 2004 I happened to have recorded a cover version of Bowie’s Rock and Roll Suicide for Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller‘s art film The Berlin Files. It became very clear that I would follow this project through as far as it would take me.
VOX ON VINYL: MELODIK METAPHYSIK
Photo by Ulli Tischler
John JJ Jones plays the vinyl double album All Melody from Nils Frahm, to which he sings texts written by Meister Eckhart and David Bowie. Jones celebrates Bowie’s glam period from the 1970s and juxtaposes Eckhart’s metaphysical wisdom of the Middle Ages with the Bowie’s ruminations on space and spirituality. Frahm’s ethereal music and Jones’ broad range of vocalizations and singing combine in a meditative yet intense exploration of space, time, and spirit.