VOYAGER IV - music ambassador for prog

20. December 2019

Voyager IV

VOYAGER IV - Musikbotschafter in Sachen Prog

In August and September 1977 the space probes Voyager 1 and 2 started their missions to explore the outer planets of the solar system. Also on board: one gold-plated copper data plate each with analogue image and sound information, including classical and ethnic music, pieces by Chuck Berry and Louis Armstrong, which are intended to provide information about human culture to possible alien discoverers in the distant future. As early as 1971, ELP created a milestone in prog based on Modest Mussorgski's piano cycle, which repeatedly inspired musicians to rework their music with their live album "Pictures At An Exhibition". Famous examples are Maurice Ravel with his orchestral version (1922) or Isao Tomita with his version for electronic instruments (1975). The German fusion project Voyager IV, for its part, was prompted by Keith Emerson to make his own arrangement of Mussorgsky's work. Keyboarder Marcus Schinkel and singer Johannes Kuchta explain the background.

eclipsed: What was the initial spark for Voyager IV?

Marcus Schinkel: The death of Keith Emerson. We have been playing together as a jazz trio without a singer for 25 years now, and I always wanted to combine rock, jazz and classical music in one project. Now an Emerson homage gave me the framework for this.

eclipsed: What memories do you associate with ELP's "Pictures At An Exhibition"?

Schinkel: I didn't have any money for records at that time and borrowed the album from the city library, put it on a particularly valuable chrome dioxide cassette and then listened to it up and down. (laughs)

eclipsed: How did it come to work with you as a singer, Johannes?

Johannes Kuchta: Marcus wanted to record some songs for his ELP cover project in my recording studio. At some point it occurred to him that a singer would do the project good.

Schinkel: Johannes had exactly the sound in his voice that I wanted: between Fish and Peter Gabriel.

Ill Vecchio Castello (Mussorgsky Space Rock Version) - Voyager IV

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