Markus Wolf's WALDTEUFEL have blessed upon us only one seven inch as of yet, but we were suitably impressed with this effort (which also contains ex-AMBER ASYLUM member Annabel Lee's collaboration). While neo-pagan music might be a vast generalization of a description of this project's sound, it can give you readers a small glimpse of what to expect. Contrarily, the seven inch we are sure represented only a framework of what to expect from this conceptual group, and we are sincerely looking forward to the next efforts. We spoke with Markus for a brief look into the structure of WALDTEUFEL.

Explain the name WALDTEUFEL.

Loosely translated WALDTEUFEL means "forest devil". One imagines little michievious creatures in the woods, but it also denotes the christian fear of the dark realms of the woods, which are conversely embraced and respected in the heathen consciousness. Many European folktales survive in which the forest is an "evil" place to be avoided; in some tales, the old god Wotan is replaced by the figure of the Devil. All this played a role in my choice of this name. It popped into my consciousness and later I remembered that it's also the last name of a French waltz composer, Emile WALDTEUFEL. Very fitting since I want to do some waltzes.

Why have you chosen text in the Germanic tongue?

One of the precepts of this project is the exclusive use of German, whatever it's form (old, high German, dialects, etc.) in text and lyrics. This is no attempt to be cryptic or elitist, I merely feel comfortable using my native language. Annabel is very proficient in German as well, since she lived there during her childhood. I have unearthed many excellent but obscure poems and songs to cover and am writing lyrics in German. Certain concepts and ideas can be more poetically and succinctly expressed in German, in my opinion. And hopefully WALDTEUFEL can play a little part in preserving the integrity and beauty of a language endangered by foreign influences.

Will you be focusing on European heritage for inspiration with WALDTEUFEL?

As I've already stated, the lyrical content is dominated by German material. Musically, however, Annabel and I draw from a wide variety of European and probably non-European traditions, especially when we try to cover traditional songs in a new way.

What is the purpose of WALDTEUFEL?

The goal and purpose is simply to delve into a rich heritage using music and the graphic arts. This means that the first 7", while being the outward product of our efforts, as a record is only a faint reflection of the role all these arts play in our "daily" lives. The goal is to fuse "art" back to "life" in a true völkisch way. This includes efforts to rebirth communal "folk" music and to infuse our music with spontaneous play and invention as well as skill. WALDTEUFEL concerts, when and if they happen, will embody these goals.

What other contributions have you spent your time with?

After thoroughly rethinking MINOTAURUS, the magazine I was doing a couple of years ago, I decided to put it aside for now. Now I'm slowly assembling WOLFSZEIT, a journal concerned with Nordic culture. It will include pieces by Kadmon, R.N.Taylor and others in addition to my writings and art. I'm also contributing to VOR TRU and the German music magazine SIGILL. One of my drawings is being used by NEUROSIS for their banners for the "Oz Fest" tour and on their t-shirts and a painting of mine will appear on the cover of a new GERALDINE FIBBERS 7".

Why did you dedicate the 7" to Orff?

Orff has been a favourite composer of mine since childhood. Unfortunately, aside from the "Carmina Burana" his works are little known and almost never performed. Many of them are very ambitious, fusing theater and choral music in a way that harks back to ancient Greek theater, yet is very new as well. I think he will be remembered as the greatest German composer of the 20th century. The vocals on "Der Grosse Rausch" were very inspired by Orff so it seemed natural to dedicate it to him on his 100th birthday. The next 7" will be dedicated to the music of the early 19th century composer Carl Maria van Weber.

Were you to be involved with the "Mysteria Mithrae" compilation?

Yes, but other commitments did not allow me to finish the track. I had already finished a painting and graphics for the booklet. But this year WALDTEUFEL will contribute to a compilation dedicated to Julius Evola from the German "Eis und Licht" label as well as an American compilation entitled "Ultra!".

How strong are your ties to the European community?

I was born in Köln on the Rhine and still have relatives there and in Dresden. Since I became involved in music over here I have made new ties through the mail and also have met a lot of good people on my trips over there. My strongest bonds are probably with Cthulhu Records and ALLERSEELEN. I certainly keep in touch with most things happening in Europe and do not rule out moving back at some point.

What geographies most inspire you?

Most natural terrain is inspiring, even deserts, but recently I've been yearning for a more alpine environment, which is one of the reasons for the move to Portland. I like the vastness of American landscapes but the human historical impact is missing, what in Germany is called "cultural landscape". Those human aspects are what define a "homeland" and they don't exist here except for this crude pioneer history which I'm really not that interested in.

If you could live in any time and place, where would it be and why?

Probably at the beginning of this century so I could witness the Volkisch resurgence first hand. Or maybe sometime around Charlemagne's time to see the violent changeover to Christianity in northern Germania. Durer's time would be interesting although it pains me to see all this wasted artistic talent from the middles ages on. Wasted on depicting the same Madonna and child, the same stations of the cross. With few exceptions, like Bosch, Brueghel or Goya, all art after the Christianization was sponsered by the church or alienated kings and nobles and therefore the results are only technically impressive to me. It was only with the advent of Romanticism and Romantic Nationalism that artists looked to the myths and traditions of their own people for subject matter. That was a powerful resurgence that was only stopped by the spread of international modernism. But for many Europeans this search for identity has never stopped, which is why all this Celtic stuff and movements like Asatru are around and growing.

DER GROSSE RAUSCH (The Great Ecstasy)

The Anvil sings
the sparks they fly
(O hear my hammer)

Percussive sound pours down
around us
(hear my hammer)

Resonate and spread!
From a spark to a flame

In rolling waves, the eternally living
stride through the glowing fields.
A flood of sunlight on all the
dancing figures. The great Intoxication.
They want to drown in their own
blood. Who was it that poured the
steel into their hearts?

I harvest delicious grapes among the
hostile thorns.

Today it's my turn, tomorrow it is your
turn (to die).

We arise, we are absorbed by the
great ecstasy.

P.O.Box 17656
Portland, OR
Interview appeared in Descent Magazine Volume 4

Box 11741
Olympia, WA


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