Michael Popp: Notes on the Production
Estampie »Crusaders«

Michael Popp, ESTAMPIE 1996 - Foto StichnothFor quite a while we had been considering the idea of an album about the medieval crusades. But our intention was not to just release another collection of medieval music on this motif, but to try to reconstruct by means of music and atmosphere what a crusade meant to medieval people, focusing on emotional aspects rather than on intellectual or moral questions.

During the whole process of planning and production, our intention of handling the crusade topic in an atmospheric way was more important to us than what might be considered “historically correct”, the so-called “authentic” methods of performance. Still, everyone at ESTAMPIE agreed that the basis we should not leave was the medieval music; therefore, we only used historic instruments - although sometimes in a rather unconventional way.

Looking for an appropriate singer of the male parts, whilst Syrah was to sing the female part, we realized what stylistic difficulties there were. The first time I heard the voice of Alexander Veljanov, singer of the Dark Wave-Band Deine Lakaien, I felt that his warm and expressive voice came much closer to what I thought a medieval troubadour probably sounded like, than many of the classical educated singers in Old Music

Later, when I also became a musician at Deine Lakaien, I had the chance to introduce our crusaders project to Alexander. Right from the very first rehearsals on, everyone realized that his and Syrah´s voice were goint together perfectly - this feeling, that things went just perfect, lasted until we had finished the final recordings.

    ADDITIONAL CREDITS • Foto Fred Stichnoth