Faun (band)

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Faun
FAUN live 03.jpg
Pade and Pawelke live at the 2007 Wave-Gotik-Treffen
Background information
Genres Pagan folk
Darkwave
Medieval Music
Years active 2002-present
Labels Banshee, Noir Records, Polydor
Associated acts Schandmaul, Sava
Website www.faune.de
Members Oliver SaTyr
Fiona Rüggeberg
Rüdiger Maul
Niel Mitra
Sonja Drakulich
Stephan Groth
Katja Moslehner
Past members Elisabeth Pawelke
Birgit Muggenthaler
Sandra Elflein
Margareta Aibl ("Rairda")
Notable instruments
Celtic harp, nyckelharpa, hurdy gurdy, bagpipes, cittern, flute, harp, bousouki, jaw harp, whistles, seljefloit, tar, riq, davul, panriqello, darabukka, timba, gaxixi

Faun is a German band formed in 2002 who play pagan folk, darkwave and medieval music. The originality of their music style is that they fall back to "old" instruments, and the singing is always the center of attention. The vocals are performed in a variety of languages, including German, Latin, Greek, and Scandinavian languages. Their instruments include Celtic harp, Swedish nyckelharpa, hurdy gurdy, bagpipes, cittern, flutes and many others.

Biography[edit]

The band was founded in 2002 by Oliver "SaTyr" Pade, Elisabeth Pawelke, Fiona Rüggeberg and Birgit Muggenthaler. Two years later, Rüdiger Maul got into the band as percussionist. At the same time, Birgit left the band, to continue her musical life with the folk-rock band Schandmaul. In 2002, they released their first album Zaubersprüche. Niel Mitra was a guest musician on this album, and he later became a full-time member of the band, the only one playing only electronic instruments. Elisabeth Pawelke left Faun in 2008 to focus on her studies in classical song in Basel, Switzerland. She was succeeded by Sandra Elflein who left Faun in April 2010 due to a pregnancy and health issues. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Rairda replaced her but left the band in 2012. She was succeeded by Katha Moslehner.

In 2014, the band published their seventh studio album Von den Elben which became the first Faun album to reach top ten positions in the album charts of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and was also their first album ever to chart in the latter two countries.[1][2][3] It was nominated for the ECHO award in the categories 'National Rock/Pop Group'[4] and 'National Newcomer of the Year'.[5]

Members[edit]

Former members[edit]

Style[edit]

Music[edit]

To express their own bond with nature the band coined the term "Pagan Folk" for one style of their concerts. While the term was initially used for electronically amplified concerts only, it is now used by fans and band for their music itself. A quote by Oliver Pade reveals another possibility for having chosen this specific term: "We don't know ourselves what kind of music we play, so we call it paganfolk" (Oliver Pade 2004 in a song announcement at the 2004 Summer Darkness in Utrecht, Netherlands).

Faun's repertoire ranges from melancholic ballads to exuberant dances like the Brittanic An Dro. Thereby they set historical tunes from various periods and regions to music and on the other hand create a lot of own compositions as well.

Faun combines ancient Perso-Arab melodies with the Swedish nyckelharpa and Middle High German lyrics. Equally distinguishing are Pawelke's and Rüggeberg's singing, mostly in two voices and, on newer recordings, the driving beat by Niel Mietra.

The debut album Zaubersprüche deals mainly with slow ballads from the era between the Late Middle Ages and Romanticism. The instrumentation is kept entirely acoustic and waives modern instruments and electronic beats. The second album features far less ballads but offers considerably more danceable tunes like Andro, Unda or the double song Dava/Punagra.

Faun is a prime example of Mittelalter music, a German musical style mixing medieval folk and folk metal.

Lyrics[edit]

The lyrics originate from very different languages, Standard German, Middle High German, Old Icelandic, Low German, Latin, Hungarian, Finnish, and Ladino among them. Among lyrics of their own, the group uses or writes lyrics inspired by classical texts such as the Carmina Burana ("Satyros", "Renaissance"), the Cantigas de Santa Maria ("Da que Deus", "Renaissance"), Jenaer Liederhandschrift from Vitslav III, Prince of Rügen ("Loibere Risen", "Renaissance"), Egils Saga ("Licht"), the Poetic Edda ("Sigurdlied", "Buch der Balladen"), Heinrich von Morungen ("Von den Elben", "Licht"), the ballad King Henry, as well as from romantic and modern authors such as John Keats ("Der Wilde Wasermann", "Buch der Balladen"), Baron Münchhausen ("2 Falken", "Totem" and "Jahrtasendalt", "Buch der Balladen"), José Melchor Gomis ("Tinta", "Totem"), Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff ("Der stille Grund", "Totem"), Felicitas Kukuck ("Tanz über die Brücke", Buch der Balladen") and others.

Meaning of the name[edit]

The band's logo

The name Faun comes from ancient Greek-Roman mythology, where it equals the herders' deity Faunus or Pan. According to the band, this figure which is often also depicted as a natural or forestal spirit, shall express the members' connection with nature. For the same reason Oliver Pade's pseudonym is the Satyr, who is closely related to Faunus.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

— denotes an album that did not chart

Year Title Peak chart positions
GER
[1]
AUT
[2]
SWI
[3]
2002 Zaubersprüche
2003 Licht
2005 Renaissance
2007 Totem 78
2009 Buch der Balladen
2011 Eden
2013 Von den Elben 7 9 5
2014 Luna

The band feature as guest musicians on several tracks of the 2009 Mediæval Bæbes album Illumination.

Live albums[edit]

DVD[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]