Of Eagles And Prophets

Track list:

More details about the music:
October '96
This song features the VL7 and CS-50 synthesizers from Yamaha. The flute lead sound throughout the piece is the physical modelling VL7; the CS-50 contributes the fretless bass and some high pass filter sounds in Part 3. The VL7 is layered with a tiny bit of strings from the Kawai K1II, formants shaped with a modified Paia vocoder.
The background is set by mellow percussive sounds from the Oberheim OB-8, using its internal arpeggiator. There are two slightly different tracks that are (deliberately) not synced to each other, in order to produce a somewhat shifting rhythm. The arpeggiator clock and the attack time of one of these sounds are turned slow in Part 3 to get the "reverse envelope" effect.
One thing worth mentioning is the Amdek Delay Machine. I have modified it with a Vactrol (optoelectronic) limiter, so even with feedback larger than 100% there is no heavy distortion. A sound will stay inside the loop "forever", noise will built up, changing the delay time will change the pattern and colour of this noise, and by feeding pitched tones into the delay, the balance of noise and tonal contents can be altered. These delay loops are further processed with my "JH-3100 Resonator" (which is the prototype of MAM's RS3, and was inspired by the Resonator section of the Korg PS series synths.) Most of the noise effects on October '96 come from this Delay machine (and not from a synthesizer).
The whole piece starts rather quiet - the more interesting stuff happens at the end of Part 3.

This piece was previously released as "Drowned In Drone" on the AME 2 CD of the German "Arbeitskreis Musikelektronik". It's rather minimalistic, as it consists of one single note played on several keyboards, each one slightly detuned to the other. This "drone" was then heavily processed, to carve structures into the raw material. One of these processing devices was a modified Paia Vocoder. The result was approximately 2 minutes long. It was recorded to two tracks of a Fostex 4-track recorder, and after that the same piece was recorded backwards for another 2 minutes to the same two tracks. Then the Fostex was switched to double tape speed, and there was a 3rd recording of the same material to the remaining 2 tracks. For playback, tape speed was set to normal again.
The end result, Anthrazit, is a layer of half speed recording (4 minutes), and the original in parallel, forward and backward.

Der ängstliche Adler
("The Timid Eagle")
This piece was inspired by Werner Ross' biography of Friedrich Nietzsche of the same title, showing the weak sides as well as the genius of the famous German philosopher.
Tragödie einer Geburt ("Tragedy of one birth") describes Nietzsches early years when he was spellbound by Richard Wagner, and his struggle to free himself from his influence.
The music consists of glissando notes from a I / V- / V / VII+ chord, played on OB-8 and CS-50, layered several times.
Hochgebirge ("High Mountains") represents Nietzsche's - and his prophetic character Zarathustra's - preference for solitude in the mountains, high above human mediocrity.
The Synthi Clone thru high feedback tape echo, and the ES-50 Lambda with additional formants from the Wasp Filter, create a ghostly distant choir. The foreground is dominated by a Prophet 5 with audio rate filter modulation.
Zarathustra's Untergang ("Zarathustra Going Down") is a direct quote from Also sprach Zarathustra. The wording  is ambigious: Zarathustra is descending to the ordinary people with a mission, and he knows that this would mean his own fall and passion, too.
Musically, it's the most "constructed" part of this album. The bass (JH-3 Modular) was recorded first, and all the other sounds were triggered by this bass track from the tape, using a comparator with hysteresis plus a monoflop to extract the beat, and a VC-divide-by-N counter plus a little 8-step analogue sequencer to create the various patterns. Most of these harmonic patterns are played from the OB-8, partly processed by a MAM vocoder and a Dynacord SRS 56 delay. There are some backwards recorded piano notes (from Kawai CA600) and a few hand triggered percussion sounds from the Alesis D4 at the beginning - these are the only "ROMpler" sounds on the whole title. The solo is played on OB-8, thru the optoelectronic Neptune Phaser.
Media In Vita ("In the midst of life ... we're embraced by death") describes Nietzsche's permanent illness, and his daily fight to write down his pointed aphorisms despite his frailness and the continuing attacks of pain.
The JH-4 polysynth with its multimode filter is the dominant instrument in this part. Small melodic fragments with interspersed rapid sample and hold modulation.
Die Große Genesung ("The Great Recovery") wasn't a physical recovery from illness, but rather an inner recovery, and ascent to new heights of prolific work after 1880.
There are some morphing formants at the beginning of this part (OB-8 thru EMS octave filter bank and Interpolating Scanner module), and rather calm string ensemble chords created by OB-8 thru the Dr. Böhm Phasing Rotor 78, set to Ensemble mode. No drum computer - the bass drum is a self oscillating SSM2040, and the hihat is white noise thru a resonant high pass filter.
Turiner Himmelfahrt ("Ascencion of Turin") means Nietzsche's mental disease taking over. Thinking he was an ancient God himself now, he was writing letters of insanity to people all over Europe from his room in Turin, where he had taken his residence. The end came when a friend visited him and found him dancing, naked and in ecstacy, not of this world anymore.
Wind sounds from the Synthi Clone introduce this final part, a heavy bass line starts, a syncopated OB-8 arpeggiator is taking over. The chord progression is borrowed from a christian hymn, and repeated ascending and descending FM-noise patterns from the Synthi Clone contribute to the raging drive. A second bass line is joining, with resonant BP filtering from the mixing console, the arpeggios are dying as clock pulse after clock pulse is removed by the VC-divide-by-N, and the piece ends in chaotic noise.

A Summer's Thunder Storm
This is the least "constructed" piece on the album. In fact, it was played directly to a DAT recorder in one go.
The first part, A Sultry Night, is a Korg CX-3 processed by a cheap phaser pedal, a home built Spring Reverb, the chorus / vibrato section of the BX-3, a clone of the Dynacord CLS-222 rotating speaker simulator, a home built tube amplifier, and the Roland RE-201 Space Echo.
In the second part, Facing The Shadow, the same organ is heavily distorted by the tube amp and the saturated tape of the Space Echo. The organ is joined by an MS-20 that went thru the RE-201, too. This is quite heavy stuff, an outburst of emotions, not polished or perfect in any way.
The closing part, The Beauty of Innocence,  is more on the calm side again: a soundscape mainly played on OB-8,  Roland D-50, and Kawai K1rII.

Audio Samples:

 If you want to buy a copy of the CD, please reade this.


Well, I must say, I am hooked on spinning your CD. I listened to it about 3 times yesterday. I am in love with it.
Let me start by saying that I love how eerie it sounds. Not all the tracks are eerie, but a good amount are. You remind me of Vangelis, which is one reason why I like the CD so much. Everything in your CD is what I look for in electronic music. The fact that you use home built instruments just blows me away and just adds to my liking! [...]
Well, I am very happy I came across your site because if I hadn't I wouldn't be listening to such a great production right now!
Scott Reed

Along with all the incredible synth DIY info there, I'd like to suggest checking out both of his CDs. It's great to be able to hear all those DIY synths in action! The music is sort of like Tangerine Dream or at times like Klaus Schulze. There's lots of great sounds going on throughout. I just got my copies recently and am just about due for a second listen.  : )
Andrew Sanchez [on analogue-heaven mailing list]

I received a copy of Juergen Haible`s CD today, and I told him that I would like to give a little preview on AH.
Four words stroke my mind when hearing it:
Intellectual, experimental, minimalistic, and true handicraft.
Juergen has constructed many instruments of his, like JH-3, JH4 , JH-3100 Resonator, JH MiniVoc Vocoder,   He even made JH Midimini and a clone out of the Synthi AKS. He`s using all those on his "JH. Of Eagles and Prophets". He's actually using 20 instruments on this album.
As I told Juergen, this is a very nice piece of music. It`s a piece of art.The bells on Part 1 are beautiful! I`ve tryed to make bell sounds like these myself, without getting such a good result. Sounds redicilous maybe, but programming nice timbres like this on an analogue synth isn`t all that easy.
I`ve commented my favourite tracks:
Part 2 opens with some complicated smooth sound effects, sounding a little like white noise which has been modulated, but I`m not sure what is is. It sounds extremely exclusive, a mixture of a little mysterious harmonic tone, combined with the sound of "electric pulses". Very ambient, indeed.
Part 4: This piece is moving, and totally ambient, with one fundamental deep tone, and added suitable disharmonic sounds in between. Lots of the sounds could remind me of the best sounds the earlier Tangerine Dream could come up with, although much more complicated. It sounds very dark, and this  could be film score to a frightening science fiction scene.
Part 5: I'm hooked up at one perticular sound: Something that sounds like an air raid alarm, only more subtle. It sounds like "morphing of sound".
Part 7: Energic, rythmic...again, *very* nice sounds. Sounds like programming on an analogue sequencer. Juergen here uses some cool bass sounds. Totally minimalistic, but interesting harmonic. You'll hear soneone dropping his "milk bottle on metal" (a modular, of course). You`ll also hear something like "laser sword effects" from Star Wars. To my delight, Juergen suddenly gets a litte dishamonic, but a nice brass lead gets it back into harmonic content. I think it`s a Yamaha CS-50, without being too sure. It reminds me a little about Tangerine Dream from their experimental period. If you like Kraftwerk, you'll probably like this too. Although, this is far more "uncommersial"/experimental.
Part 9: Beautiful! Very nice pads, that could have been phased. OB-8? The beginning of this piece is just so very relaxing and harmonic. Some of the "glass like" phasing is very, very 1970'is. Some smooth subtle bells in the background keeps it mystical. This also sounds like a movie score.
Track 11: "A Sultry Night" A very nice synthesized church organ that`s beeing modulated dominates the entire piece. Maybe one of the most ambientic tracks heard on this album.
Track 13: The beauty of innocence, from "A summer's Thunderstorm". AAhhh, it could have been from "Jarre`s Equinoxe". Some very, very nice synthetic thundersounds (getting a little phased, maybe) can be heard here. Beautiful pad sounds that reminds me a little of Pink Floyd's pads through the EMS- VCS- 3 on "Dark side of the Moon". Some typical SH effects too, without being too sure if it is that. A very worthy ending to on his CD. Maybe the most beautiful piece.....ahhh that phasing is *so* vintage. This piece got to my soul.
My overall conclusion:
I envy Juergen for his sounds. I wouldn`t mind having access to those. As for the music, it's very nice. It`s actually a long time ago since I heard as interesting electronic music as this. If you don't like experimental stuff, I wouldn`t know, but if you do, this CD has my strongest recommandations. It really annoyes me that people sit in their private studios making pieces like this, and that not more people have access to it.
One of my electronic music gurus once said" What I really want to do, is to focus on the capability of my instruments, and not to focuse so much on trivial commercial aspects". Well, Juergen has  done just that! This CD is a little too clever, and that's being ment as a compliment. It almost sounds like his instruments are alive, breathing, organic. Well, it's so boring listening to my endless trivial blah, blah, blah, so it`s better just to enjoy the music itself. Words just don't do the mucic credit!!!
Thanks for your CD, Juergen. I`ve been listening to electronic music since I was 5 years old, but I learned something new today.
Henrik Huste Norseth, Norway [on analogue-heaven mailing list]

I heard your CD 3 time today.
Also, Blade Runner. And sometimes, I don't know which one am I hearing.
I hope it is a compliment for you.
Francois Buat, France

Also ich kann die CD auch nicht unkommentiert lassen. ;-)
Mich hat "Of Eagles and Prophets" einfach umgehauen. Mir gefällt Musik immer dann, wenn sie in der Lage ist in mir Gefühle und Stimmungen von sich aus auszulösen, zu verstärken, mich in Extase zu versetzen und auf eine Reise mitzunehmen. Und das alles ist dir mit deinem Werk voll gelungen! Du merkst wahrscheinlich schon, dass ich Musik eher mit dem Bauch höre, deshalb liegt es mir auch fern jetzt irgendwas auseinander zu analysieren.
Track 12 ist für mich bisher der schwierigste, die anderen Stücke liegen musikalisch und klanglich (!!) aber voll auf meiner Wellenlänge. Insbesondere hat mich "Der Ängstliche Adler" mitgerissen.
René Schmitz, Germany

I got your CD today. Many thanks. It really is very interesting material. I have already listened to it twice. It may inspire me to do more without my sequencer or drum loops. [...]
Is that your Neptune phaser that is affecting the thunder on the last track on the CD? It really is very deep phasing, much better than my Ibanez PhaseTone. Very similar to the phaser that JMJ uses on the first two albums. By the way, that last track is excellent.
Tony Allgood, UK

BTW I give you full credits on recording . Quality is astounding (to be honest , I excepted less effort on production) . "Eagles and prophets" is a bit hissy which I prefer but someone else would prefer clean sound . And about music : you were right about cello stuff , "Dark november" is absolutely great (it reminds me of some great early seventies jazz artists who experimented with (very non jazz instrument) violine and signall processing (very advanced one for its time) . But my favourite is "Eagles and prophets" . Its one of the best conceptual pieces I have ever heard . And it is much less "constructed" which I prefer ( I'm usually in dark evolving suff ).
Uros M., Yugoslavia

I received your CD yesterday. I am delighted!
I have and am listening to it, even now. I'm not getting as much work done as I normally might. :) But, I think that your music does enhance my productivity. Thank you. I've played it for a friend, so I hope you may have some more orders soon.
Donald Johnson, Canada

Habe Deine CD dankend erhalten und sie mir natürlich sofort angehört. Kommt echt gut rüber erinnert mich irgendwie an Tangerine Dream oder so in der Richtung,weiter so.
Günter Stanzl, Austria

I am quite impressed with your recordings and I think they are excellent.  Having your web page comments while listening to your cd was very useful, especially to get some idea of the instruments that you used.  I'm looking forward to listening to it again.
On packaging/sending, the package arrived without any signs of damage and the cd did not have any visual damage and played entirely without incident.  Thanks for the good packaging job, and it seems that your method of shipping should work well.
Jeffrey Pontius, USA

And by the way, I'm really enjoying your CD.
Toby Paddock

Love your CD as something a little different than I usually listen to. My wife however accused you of using recreational drugs.  Great textures.
Highly recommended.
Larry Hendry, USA

Just got the CD yesterday and started playing it on the work today.  Its really cool to get such a detailed description of the equipment you use on each track and then listen to the track.  I'm on about the 5th track - probably finish on the way home today.  I plan to go back with portable CD player and headphones and try and identify the equipment you mention while listening to each track again.  Really great learning experience and I'm sure I'll have questions how you did this or that later on.  Besides all that, your music is what I like to experience - something where each track is different and you don't know what will be coming next. New sounds coming at you all the time.  I think many on the space music mail list would appreciate it!  Let me know when #2 is ready...
Barry Klein, USA

Mir gefällt deine CD. Deine Musik hat was, was ich sonst eigentlich nur von Klaus Schulzes Musik her so kenne: mystisches, Klanglandschaften die nicht einfach platt sind (wie bei Jarre) und besondere Gefühlstiefen. Dabei kommt es nicht darauf an 48 Spuren zu füllen, sondern nur wenige mit gutem Klangmaterial und Ausdruck aufzunehmen. Ich hoffe du weißt, was ich damit meine.
Oktober '96: Sehr ruhig und mit einer großen Weite. Und gleichzeitig aber auch mit einer Spannung. Guter Flöten/Oboen Sound.
Anthrazit: Dunkeler sicher bewegender Bass. Erinnerte mich spontan etwas an den Anfang von Pink Floyd´s "Shine on you crazy Diamond". Dann kommen diese abstrakten Klänge dazu. Das wirkt dann eher wie Klaus Schulze anno 1975-78, der gerne über einem Akkord oder einen Basston ganze Stücke legte.
Der ängstliche Adler: Das ist für mich das beste Stück auf der CD. Besonders gefällt mir die Klangmalerei im Part "Hochgebirge" und der Sequenzer (ändert sich häufiger in Tonart und Gefüge) in "Zarathustra´s Untergang". das klingt dann stark nach der zweiten Hälfte der Siebziger, also der klasischen Analog Synthy Zeit. Ich muß allerdings zugeben Nietsche noch nie gelesen zu haben. Ich
glaube aber auch ohne dessen Werk zu kennen dieses Stück als schön erklären
zu dürfen.
A Summer's Thunderstorm: Der Anfang ist ganz nach meinem Geschmack. Ein Orgelklang an sich ist ja an für sich nichts berauschendes, aber die Art wie man damit spielt, das macht daraus eine "Schwüle Nacht". Hier gibt es auch paralellen zu frühen Schulze Werken, aber die sind wohl nicht bewußt so entstanden, oder? In "Facing the Shadow" wird dann die Trickkiste geöffnet und a la Tangerine Dream experimentiert. So etwas kann man auch nicht im Mehrspurverfahren aufnehmen. Das muß einfach live gespielt werden. Aber reproduzieren kann man diese Improvisation nie. So etwas wird leider heutzutage durch die MIDI-Faulheit nicht mehr gemacht. Aber wozu dann die meisten noch echte Drehknöpfe und Schieberegler haben wollen, wenn diese meistens unbenutzt bleiben, daß weiß man nicht. Da hast du den richtigen Mut gehabt so etwas im klassischen Stil wieder anzupacken bzw. neu zu entdecken.
Alles in allem ist die Musik nicht eine Kopie einer anderen, sondern einfach was in der Art neues mit zum Teil alten stilistischen Mitteln.
Till Kopper, Germany

I found that some list members had quite amazing recordings (J. Haible and C. MacDonald).
Martin Czech, Germany [on synth-diy mailing list]

I got the CD on thursday, and.....
I like it. I like it a lot - I'm listening to it right now as I write this. I find the overall mood of the music very plesant and relaxing, and the moments of tension leads me to appreciate the resolving sounds even more. It is very inspiring to listen to the music. I think the CD  is best experienced as a whole, or at least the three bigger compositions shuld be listened to as a continous tale. I find the style to be a plesant blend of The Future Sound Of London (FSOL) and Kraftwerk -- both are favourites of mine in electronic music. (So are you, now!) Many of the sound textures are very interesting; they tickle my fantasy and I am tempted to ask what instruments you have used for what sounds. But I will not, because such an explanation will be too much of a bother to make, and because I think I'm better off without, wondering instead. :-)
Thank you for an excellent album IMHO, and please tell me when you have completed another CD.
Hallgeir Helland

I really must say that I am very impressed with your CD. Normally I prefer bands like Leftfield, Orbital, Underworld etc, but I've found that your CD provides a great experience. I still have to sit down and listen through the whole work in one go, but I'm already looking forward to that. Also, I found the desription on the web page to be very helpful in identifying (or at least trying to ;-) ) the various instruments.
Isac Georg Jensen, Danmark

Grandiose Sounds, aber da hatte ich auch nichts anderes erwartet ;-). Besonders die Orgel-Sachen haben mir als altem Orgel-Freak gut gefallen. [...] Für meinen Geschmack ist die CD zu wenig rhythmisch. Aber besser sparsame Rhythmen, wie bei dir, als langweilige.
Ingo Debus, Germany

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