• Vox on Vinyl •

Melodik Metaphysik

Sound design by Ron Disko

John JJ Jones plays the vinyl double album All Melody from Nils Frahm, to which he sings texts written by Meister Eckhart and David Bowie. Jones celebrates Bowie’s glam period from the 1970s and juxtaposes Eckhart’s metaphysical wisdom of the Middle Ages with the Bowie’s ruminations on space and spirituality. Frahm’s ethereal music and Jones’ broad range of vocalizations and singing combine in a meditative yet intense exploration of space, time, and spirit.


What do Meister Eckhart (1260 – 1328) and David Bowie (1947 – 2016) have in common? „The emotions,“ says Just John Jones and catapults the PATHOS into a world between 70s glam rock and metaphysical wisdom. He plays the vinyl double album „All Melody“ by Nils Frahm and interweaves it with texts by the medieval philosopher and the pioneering musician. Munich residents* know Jones as the dazzling host of the quirky event series Same Old Song. In PATHOS he presents a musical exploration that is both intense and meditative.

Was haben Meister Eckhart (1260 – 1328) und David Bowie (1947 – 2016) gemeinsam? „Die Emotionen!“, meint John JJ Jones und katapultiert das PATHOS in eine Welt zwischen 70er Jahre Glam-Rock und metaphysischen Weisheiten. Er spielt das Vinyl-Doppelalbum All Melody von Nils Frahm und verflechtet es mit Texten des mittelalterlichen Philosophen und des bahnbrechenden Musikers. Münchner*innen kennen den Jones als schillernden Moderator der schrägen Veranstaltungsreihe Same old Song. Im PATHOS wird er nun eine gleichermaßen intensive wie meditative musikalische Auseinandersetzung erklingen lassen.


To simplify the source of music for live performances and to confront the growing love for vinyl and the frustration of putting together a band, I considered the concept of using a contemporary vinyl recording that I would personally play from a turntable on stage, to which I would lend vocalizations of various kinds. While recordings of my own compositions were not out of the question, the concept blossomed upon discovering the beautiful work All Melody from Nils Frahm, which was recommended to me by Lenny at Maoz Vinyl & Kaffee in Munich. Upon hearing it, I instantly – truly a lightning strike of intuition, which I trusted – wanted to apply the texts of Bowie and Eckhart, which would complement Frahm’s ethereal music and continue my artistic approach of juxtaposing contemporary themes with historical ones. In this case, the years between Eckhart and Bowie are almost 1000, yet the sentiments are similar in their esoteric associations of source, power, God, humankind, identity, joy, and love. In other words, timeless.

I had never heard of Nils Frahm before listening to the album. Upon finally reading the liner notes in the exquisite booklet included in the double album, I discovered that he recorded it at the Funkhaus in Berlin, where in 2004 I happened to have recorded a cover version of Bowie’s Rock and Roll Suicide for Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller‘s art film The Berlin Files. It became very clear that I would follow this project through as far as it would take me.


Let’s sway
Under the moonlight
This serious moonlight

Photo © JJ Jones

Photo © Ulli Tischler