ELOY - Swords, battles and pyre

15. September 2017


ELOY - Swords, battles and pyre

A two-part rock opera, a so-called spectacle musical and a novel - for the most ambitious project in the almost fifty-year history of the progressive rock band Eloy from Lower Saxony, its designer Frank Bornemann has bundled his strength. "The Vision, The Sword And The Pyre, Part I" is a massive work in every respect. It revolves around Saint Joan of Arc, who helped the royal troops of Charles VII to a victory over the English and Burgundy and thus decisively influenced the Hundred Years' War and ended at the stake in 1431 after a show trial.

The 72-year-old singer, guitarist and songwriter Bornemann has obviously worked carefully - the musical homage can be heard. The choirs comment on and reinforce the spoken and sung texts, but they also create an important atmosphere. That sounds full, also sometimes massive and nevertheless differentiated and never overloaded. We met Frank Bornemann in his studio in Hannover.

eclipsed: Johanna of Orléans was a fearless, combative woman, a farmer's daughter, who 600 years ago went to war against the occupying forces for her homeland. Why does it still inspire so many artists today?

Frank Bornemann: Because she is the most impressive female being that human history has ever produced. If you get involved with this figure, you can't help but be fascinated by it.

eclipsed: You claim to tell the whole truth about Joan of Arc. What are you telling me that others don't?

Bornemann: I've dealt with an awful lot of literature, the trial records and documentaries on Joan of Arc. Almost all of them present their stories in a very compressed and incomplete way. They usually do not respond to her personality and what was going on inside her. The now unfortunately deceased historian Régine Pernoud, whom I still knew personally, fortunately did it differently. I think she's the only one who understood Joan of Arc. Also [the Bonn historian] Heinz Thomas has written a remarkable, historically very well researched book. He believes, for example, that anorexia has contributed to her behavior.

eclipsed: What do you think of the historical truth?

Bornemann: I too adhere very closely to the historical facts. For example, she has fought not only one battle - like the one in Orléans, which is always mentioned when her name is mentioned - but many of them. In the end, however, Charles VII prevented Jeanne and her army from invading Paris successfully. She then began to act without the king and tried to come to the aid of threatened cities. She herself was captured.

Lest mehr im eclipsed Nr. 193 (09-2017).