ELOY - Gimme Hope Jo'anna

9. October 2019


ELOY - Gimme Hope Jo’anna

Jeanne d'Arc's passion moves the minds and fantasies of artists of various colours to this day. With "The Vision, The Sword And The Pyre (Part II)", the Eloy mastermind Frank Bornemann presents the final part of his rock opera about the French national saint. For the most ambitious project in the 50-year history of the Hanover-based art rock band, the singer and guitarist has bundled his musical powers. eclipsed visited the 74-year-old in the studio.

Home visit to the Horus Studio in Hanover: Frank Bornemann sits in a leather armchair and is turned up like clockwork. Numerous gold records behind his back. The head of Eloy seems as if he is completely absorbed in his current musical project "The Vision, The Sword And The Pyre" and becomes one with the protagonist Jeanne d'Arc (1412-1431). Again and again he remembers new facts which he came across during his intensive research on the French national saint. While the musician reports full of emotions about his experiences in France, his fluffy Tibet terrier lies quietly at his feet. His wife Brigitta sits on the sofa opposite and gives him keywords. Then he's got a story to go with it.

eclipsed: How do you artistically approach a Joan of Arc?

Frank Bornemann: Joan of Arc was and is an unexplained phenomenon into which much has been interpreted. Politicians have made use of it. The Church also claims them and proclaims the only truth concerning their true identity. And yet one has hardly come any closer to her, even less has one been able to fathom her essence. Even historians have bitten their teeth at it. All this is the reason why I didn't even try to take a position for one interpretation or another and instead stuck to proven facts and renounced any interpretation.

eclipsed: Why Joan of Arc?

Bornemann: I have been fascinated by Joan of Arc since I first came into contact with her and her story in 1990 in the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. She hasn't let go of me since. I have spent many years studying it and its history, and over the decades I have visited almost all the sites associated with its history.

eclipsed: Did you want to write music for "The Vision, The Sword And The Pyre" that is as complex as the story of shepherd Jeanne d'Arc?

Bornemann: I wanted to offer the best I could with both records. Above all, I wanted to create an authentic work that responds to all the events surrounding Joan of Arc and does not leave out half of her story. A single record wouldn't have been enough. I have dealt extensively with all the details of the story and with its essence itself, because it should also withstand the gaze of the connoisseur. For this purpose I was also in the Centre Jeanne d'Arc in Orléans, whose circle of friends I belong to. Among others, the leader and Jeanne-d'Arc expert Olivier Bouzy helped me to understand the context of history.

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