On the Wings of the Wind

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Product Description

On the Wings of the Wind

Mind Over Matter is the multi-instrumentalist and producer Klaus ‘Cosmic Hoffmann’-Hoock and Volker Kuinke, the twice European gas balloon champion and recorder player with ‘Mind Over Matter’ since 1997. The atmospheric moods and impressions are acoustically reproduced, including the natural sounds that can be heard during a balloon flight. All are woven into the music, taking the listener into a fantastic world of quiet gliding in a willow balloon basket. You are taken on a journey to unknown destinations and will be enchanted by hauntingly beautiful landscapes. The music gains a lot of authenticity from the fact that Volker Kuinke has made these journeys in his balloon himself and has also taken Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock as his passenger. Captivating!

Title: Jamuna River

Volker Kuinke has already flown across many different countries with his balloon, criss-crossing the whole of Europe as well as gliding over the deserts and mountain ranges of the United States. But how would it be to experience the beauty of Asia – which Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock has explored extensively for 25 years – from a bird’s eye view? Once Volker’s imagination was fired through many stories and impressive pictures by his friend and musical partner, his desire was awoken to fly across this far and foreign continent which holds so little in common with our Western culture. This song tells the story of an adventurous, shared balloon journey over the breathtaking landscape along the Indian Jamuna River…. a journey which happened only in the writers’ imagination.

Title: Mountain Thunder

The Northern winds during the Gordon-Bennett race in September 1990 led Volker and his co-pilot Jürgen Schubert over the main Alpine range and down to Italy on the Southern side of the Alps. He will never forget the frightening moments they experienced when they had to go through a thunderstorm on the Bernina mountains, at an altitude of 5600 metres. Amongst all the amazement of crossing this unique high mountain landscape the fear of being pulled into the storm still weighed heavily upon them. The sound of echoing thunder in the valleys of the Swiss Alps will always remain in their memories. Finally they both landed safely in the pouring rain in Recoaro Terme near Vicenza (Italy) during the last remnants of daylight and with only a few crumbs of sand left before they were warmly welcome by the local people.

Title: Journey To Brittany

One of his most impressive journeys through the air led Volker from Düsseldorf to Pluvigner/Brittany in 34 hours, travelling more than 800 kilometres in his balloon. He will never forget the amazingly clear, starry sky between Paris and Rouen which shone down on him in the freezing cold at an altitude of 2000 metres. Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock and Volker Kuinke have tried to express the adventure of travelling in a balloon from Germany to the Atlantic, and have musically captured the vivid impressions of a star- filled night in this song. Josef Götz also played a very special role in realising the idea of this title by giving it a lot of colour through his extraordinary and impressive vocal performance, bringing the moods of this significant balloon journey to life for the listener.

Title: Fullmoon Desert

To cross the endless deserts of New Mexico at full moon in a gas balloon is a rare and fortunate opportunity; a chance which Volker had in 1993 at the legendary Gordon-Bennett balloon championship. The journey lasted for more than 30 hours, taking him across majestic canyons, untouched forests and almost completely deserted areas across the Rocky Mountains to Colorado, where he landed happily but very exhausted. The sensations of gliding in a willow basket low over the lonely desert landscapes, hearing mysterious sounds from the ground, have been captured in this atmospheric song. Apart from crickets and the occasional howling coyote, only the ticking of the altigraph could be heard. At the same time the huge moonlight shadow of the balloon, a round black disc, moved along silently over the desert.

Title: Cloud Ghosts

It is difficult to describe the experience of gliding silently through the air at two to three kilometres altitude for a whole day… an experience possible only in a gas balloon, moving far above the clouds towards destinations unknown. This leaves a lot of room for philosophising, for thoughts to be sent on a journey of their own. Sometimes the balloon drops right down to cloud-level before it rises once again majestically over a cloud landscape, where every cloud has its different shape, always changing, never remaining the same. Volker spent a lot of time gazing at these clouds from above and discovered many strange, ghostly beings, which whispered their mysteries to him. What they really were will remain his secret… but it might be similar to what you can hear in this atmospheric song.

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Reviews

  1. Perry Moree

    Now it is the year 2004 and a new album by Mind over Matter is released. The CD cover has superb photography and design. Klaus worked on the album for two years, from July 2002 till July 2004. Striking is his concentration on keyboards instead of electric guitar. This is the second release in Klaus’ Encounter-series. This time the encounter is with German flute player Volker Kuinke.

    Volker Kuinke is an appreciated flute player (who plays as many flutes as Steve Howe does play guitars) who is connected to the famous German progrock band Eloy, the group around singer-guitarist Frank Bornemann. Volker wrote all liner notes for the recently released remastered versions of the first six Eloy albums, from Inside till Eloy Live. Volker is also well-known from his ballooning activities, having won European championships twice. According to him the only true balloon is the gas balloon (filled with noble gas) and not the noisy hot air balloon. With a gas balloon it is possible to be carried on the wings of the wind above landscapes in complete silence. Klaus and Volker tried to translate this feeling into music. The result of this attempt is without doubt sensational. In the five tracks, varying from eleven to fifteen minutes, the listener first travels to the Jamuna River in India, then from Düsseldorf to the Bretagne, to the deserts of New Mexico and the Southern Alps, the journey is rounded off amidst ghostly clouds. The riches in sounds, the combined action between Klaus (on digital mellotron and sitar) and Volker and the extraordinary production make On the Wings of the Wind into a must for all fans of electronic music. Both musicians are supported by familiars Peter Jörgens, Josef Götz and Jürgen Gisa.

    I am convinced that this new Mind over Matter album will win even the last of the doubters over. These compositions filled with keyboards and recorders are breathtaking. I can recommend starting with the second track on the disc: “Mountain Thunder”. Be prepared to be carried away on the wings of the wind.

    Perry Moree / NL
    Alfa Centauri Magazine Nr. 41 / December 2004

  2. Phil Derby

    This Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock project was inspired by his travels via hot air balloon. Not surprisingly, the end product is largely a floating, drifting affair. As usual with his Mind Over Matter moniker, there are tinges of eastern influences, most notably the beautiful recorder playing of Volker Kuinke, who is also a world-class balloonist. Kuinke’s recorder is prominent early on, as the dreamy “Crossing Jamuna River” opens the CD. Adding more ethnic influences is Indian tanpura. It is a subtle, dreamy way to start the disc. “Mountain Thunder” starts as you might expect, the thunder rolling in. A low drone hangs in the air, the wind whooshes by, and tribal percussion is gently folded in. A variety of synth textures are also added. This is a great mood piece. Softly rolling waves begin “Journey To Brittany.” The centerpiece of this one is wordless vocals by Josef Götz. Crickets signal the arrival of “Fullmoon Desert,” musical impressions of Volker’s moonlit journey over the deserts of New Mexico a few years back. Similar in feel to the rest, this one is perhaps the most ethereal, and may be my favorite, though the whole disc is very good. “Cloud Ghosts” is the quietest and make a soothing relaxing finish. Of special note is the beautiful 16-page booklet with essays about the background of each song in German and in English, as well as stunning photography of ballooning. An essential purchase.
     
    © 2005 Phil Derby / Electroambient Space

  3. WP

    The man behind Mind over Matter is Klaus ‘Cosmic Hoffmann’- Hoock. I have to admit that I’d not come across this side of Klaus’ work before, so I was intrigued. The ‘concept’ behind this release is to create music that conjures visions of hot air balloon flights. The influence for this musical journey is Volker Kuinke, musical collaborator, playing a variety of recorders, and champion hot air balloonist.
    Insect sounds and the sound of a trickling stream open ‘Crossing Jamuna River (Ballonflight of our fantasy)’. A haunting, mellow synth pad rises and a plaintive recorder melody weaves in and out of the mix. It’s beautiful and deeply relaxing. Things become more symphonic around the 2 minute mark; and the melodic duties become shared by gentle and understated sitar work (real, not synthetic!). Everything is now in place and we are allowed to ‘float’, and what an apt description that is! The sound of thunder is an obvious but effective introduction for ‘Mountain Thunder’. A very eastern-sounding wind instrument plays an evocative melody; tablas add yet more of an eastern feel; whilst Mellotron choirs suggest Klaus’ ‘day job’! A heavily filtered synth lead and glorious strings add melodic and harmonic support. This is superb stuff, I am very impressed by the playing. This is not the new age ‘twaddle’ I feared!
    ‘Journey to Brittany’ very much follows the pattern of the previous tracks, but adds a vocal performance to the mix. It’s very ‘abstract’ really, not singing words (as far I could make out), but using the voice more like an instrument. It fits the music well, but I didn’t really enjoy it: simply skip the track if it didn’t suit your tastes.
    ‘Fullmoon Desert’ opens with the sounds of insects, and then a flurry of percussive (marimba-like) notes suggests ‘take-off’. Yet another cracking melody is deployed and we’re back to glorious drift. Like so much of this CD the music is deeply visual, it would perfectly fit a wildlife or travel documentary. A tinkling melody is added at just the right moment. This is a key feature actually. The musicians have carefully judged when drift could become tedious, and have ensured that fresh musical ideas are added, when necessary, but they never interrupt the flow. Deep drones signal the arrival of ‘Cloud Ghosts’. Strings and recorder begin to fill in the melodic detail. There is a melancholy feel to this track, heightened by some abstract vocal samples. The lavish and beautiful insert booklet describes the inspiration for this track as ‘gliding silently through the air at 2 to 3 kilometres for a whole day’ and the way that this encourages ‘philosophising’. This track, and in fact the whole CD, would be perfect for this. If you ever ‘use’ music for relaxation, buy this immediately.
    WP GB / 2004

  4. Andy Garibaldi

    First brand-new studio album in ages for Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock’s Mind Over Matter with his “Ultimate Digital Mellotron”, synthesizers and various electric guitars, and it features 5 tracks between eleven and fifteen minutes in length. This time around, we’re talking a musician in reflective mode as the album decides to chart a largely full-sounding, expansive, cosmic, spacey, melodic and richly textured path.
    The opener, ‘Crossing Jamuna River’, soars and drifts on undercurrents of bass while on top and all around you hear the gorgeous sound of cosmic synths, eerie flute sounds and ripples of Indian tampura to add to the exotic effect, as the tracks floats effortlessly forward, transfixing you with its heady delights – A supreme example of space synth music at its most beautiful.
    ‘Mountain Thunder’ opens with slowly undulating tabla rhythms, gorgeously distant haunting flute, subtle synth surrounds and this wondrous Mellotron choir, all creating a most powerful effect for what is a languid, drifting cosmic music track, with the Mellotron being the central character for the early part of the piece. Around the five-minute point, more synths enter and the track strengthens its spacey path, the river of drifting electronic bass synth now more noticeable underneath. The music travels slowly on, implying melody without really creating it, the textures changing with the mood just perfectly set and reflected in what is a truly emotional slice of music. With string synths, the undulating tabla rhythms, more Mellotrons and surrounding synth effects dominating the track; it’s a deep and gorgeous slice of space music from start to finish.
    ‘Journey To Brittany’ is immediately revealed to be less overtly dark than the previous track, with synths leading the way as a wordless choral voice appears on top, the space synths spreading all around the musical horizon as the flutes emerge in the background. This cosmic effect that’s heard and created is largely slowly changed as the track rolls by, but what you hear is what it is – the sound of deep, relaxed and quite gorgeous multi-layered synths-dominated cosmic music.
    ‘Fullmoon Desert’ has the flutes becoming more apparent in the mix, although still decidedly part of the overall electronic soundscape, but with this huge canopy of spacey synths opening up all around, it is the keyboards that are still the main feature of the music, as possibly the most drifting track on the album rolls by.
    Finally, ‘Cloud Ghosts’ returns to the darker side, with more rolling bass undercurrents, deep and dark cosmic synths, eerie flutes and rumbles of deep synth layers that soar, float and drift.
    So, apart from the slow tabla rhythms on one track, this is a completely non-rhythmic, space-synth, multi-textured, richly arranged and full-sounding cosmic music album – and it’s a gem from start to finish.
     
    Andy Garibaldi (GB) 10 / 2004

  5. Archie Patterson, Eurock

    Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock, aka MoM, has offered up on the album “On the wings of the wind”a rare and beautiful work of cosmic, celestial music.
    The evocative, flowing soundscapes that he conjures up pure musicial magic. Enchanted by the whispers of exotic instruments and guitar embellishments, the level of consciousness is raised seven levels higher than the earthly realm. Listen and ascend.

    Eurock USA

  6. Sylvain Lupari

    Delicate soundscapes open ‘Crossing Jamuna River (Balloonflight Of Our Fantasy)’with singing insects which charm on lapping water. With such a title and the inner sleeve that goes in it, we easily guess that we fly over the Jamuna River, by one peaceful moment that gives us the chance to hear the wind as far as it can’t interfere. The synth floats among the marvellous breaths of a recorder. The peace of the atmosphere, the fusion between the flute and synth on sitar chords is a unique moment of appeasement which extends our vision far away boring the horizon. Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock is in paradise. As high as the clouds, him and his flutist companion Volker Kuinke, twice European Gasballooning Champion, furrow the heights of Asia in search of inspiration. And on this first track, we are with them. We close our eyes and the connection is made. We have the feeling to be there, that we also see the images that their music describes so well – tenderness and amazement – a great inspired track.
    It is with astonishing thunders that ‘Mountain Thunder’ begins, a tribal spirit title with tabla percussion that floats on rich Mellotron layers to lascivious movements.
    The noise of flowing water mixes with the magic breaths of Volker Kuinke’s flute, on the ‘Journey to Brittany’ intro. A celestial voice rises among this transition, half animal, half human, it moults itself in ethereal breaths, as synthetic passages that the wind raises at the top of clouds. Floating, with melodious fluty harmonies ‘Journey to Brittany’ owes its beauty to its environment.
    A strange tic-tac emerges from an insects concerto that a tiny shimmering swirl half buries. ‘Fullmoon Desert’ becomes a superb melody on an atonic movement, stuffed of chimes and scintillating serpentines of harmonious keys which twist with tenderness.
    ‘Cloud Ghosts’ opens on drones which join to soft flute breaths, rocked by synthetic pads, hardly mutable, this slow procession progresses on a beautiful sensual bass which undulates an animated intonation of fine tabla percussion. ‘Cloud Ghosts’ is a beautiful title of a nostalgic softness that a beautiful flute oversizes the beauty on splendid synthetic layers that blow in an environment with hostile murmurs.
    ‘On the Wings of the Wind’ is a whole musical voyage where MIND OVER MATTER traces a romantic portrait of a planet end that our eyes will undoubtedly never see, but that our ears will have seen, thanks to the perspicacity of MIND OVER MATTER.

    Sylvain Lupari (Québec) Canada 1/2007 

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