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Press releases after Herbert Wagner's overtone concert
"The Rainbow Colors Of Music"
in churches in Germany:

Neumarkter Nachrichten
Herby

Neumarkter Tagblatt 23 Mai 2000

Overtone concert in St. Annas church

Listeners amazed / "Rainbow Colours"

NEUMARKT (mz).  To listen to Herbert Wagners and Kristin Bächtles overtone concert was an experience of sound. As the name itself reveals, overtones are tones over the tones which give the sound its particular colour, the "rainbow colours of music".
Herbert Wagner, a multi instrumentalist and an accomplished singer of overtones from Neuburg, and Kristin Bächtle, a didgeridoo player from Neumarkt, invited the audience to accompany them on a journey through the medicine wheel and to an inner experience of the elements water, fire, air, earth, wood, and iron using unusual instruments like Tibetan singing bowls, the Slavic fujara flute, African kalimba, Indian shruti box, singing wood, Jews harp, and the Australian didgeridoo.
Those who let in the music soon felt its relaxing effect and a spiritual atmosphere in the church hall. The harmony in the play of the two didgeridoos was remarkable. Kristin Bächtle commented, "The encounter with Herbert Wagner has influenced my musical path with the didgeridoo and its spiritual side." Hearing mystic "flute sounds" amazed not just a few listeners as these were the mysterious overtones which Herbert Wagner produced with his voice.
Just like last year, the audience showed again an increasing interest in new meditative music.  


     

Neuburger Rundschau vom 18. Juli 2000

Archaic sounds

Concert in St. Wolfgangs church

Sinning (amei).
What exactly is overtone music? One thing is for sure: It is ancient and overtones can be found everywhere - in language, in music, in all things. Every sound, no matter how it is produced, carries overtones. The hearer usually does not hear them consciously, however overtones colour the tone of every voice and instrument.
When singing overtones the singer produces two tones at the same time: a deeper tone, mostly a long vowel, is created deliberately - the other, higher tone comes into being just by itself. When Herbert Wagner performs his song "The Bear" he uses only the Indian shruti box as accompaniment which produces a two-tone sound of f sharp and b. The bear seems to growl and run through the forest, but where is the overtone? If you close your eyes, as Herbert Wagner recommends, it seems as if somewhere in the forest the bear is accompanied by a flute. These are overtones which the listener can hear in this very moment.
The prerequisites for this are a receptive audience and a space with good acoustics, and both were available for Wagners fine concert in the small St. Wolfgangs church. The artist invited the 90 listeners to join him on a journey 
through the elements of his eightfold medicine wheel.
The journey started with the Jews harp representing the element iron. Next to the other exotic ones this little instrument resembled a good old friend from the Alps. Singing bowls from the Himalayas, made from seven different kinds of metals, produce a whole cosmos of sounds which exceed our limit of hearing. As to the element ether, Herby amplifies the sound by modulation through the oral cavity in order to make ether "visible". Vibrations start whirling around in the church. And of course, no other instrument could describe the earth better than the didgeridoo which has been used by the native people of Australia for thousands of years. The sound of the didgeridoo is deep and penetrating. Compared with it, the Slavic fujara flute seems quite discreet. Made from a two meter long piece of elder wood, the flute can be played in two different tones and is able to produce up to ten overtones.
Wind, light, water, gold ... Overtones touch archaic patterns in our perception and bring us in contact with our origins. Overtones are a product of harmonious vibrations. Thanks to Herbert Wagners music we could feel some of it in the 350 years old church St. Wolfgang of Sinning.

 

Photos of the concert in 2001 (Thanks to Frau Bächtle)