INTERVIEW: E.S. Posthumus

The brothers that comprise E.S. Posthumus are nothing short of visionaries: a duo that, over recent years, have crafted some of the most potent instrumental recordings in the world, large orchestral epics that have been featured in close to two-dozen movies, driving works of instant catharsis that have stirred millions (including, somewhat surprisingly, the NFL, who commisioned the guys for some music not too far back). 2001's debut Unearthed was an incredible word-of-mouth success (and one of CDBaby.com's all-time best-selling releases), but it wasn't until earlier this year when the guys unleashed Cartographer, a two-disc set of new music featuring both the classic instrumental works that they're known for along with those same songs serving as support for the duo's new discovery: vocalist Luna Sans.

Needless to say, the guys have been busy, but not busy enough for brother Franz Vonlichten to sit down with Evcat and talk about all things Posthumus ...


>>The first question is simple but kind of obvious: what occured during the mutli-year gap between Unearthed and Cartographer? What was the most difficult aspect of getting the second album off of the ground?

One of the most intriguing aspects of Unearthed has been it's staying power. Unearthed is selling as well in 2008 as it did in 2001. People from all over the world seem to be discovering the album everyday. That being said, although we've written an immense amount of material the past 7 years, we felt no pressure to follow it up with Unearthed 2. Instead, after being introduced to Luna in 2002, we thought it would be interesting to take a detour and explore mixing our sound with her artistry. We wrote and recorded the Orchestral parts and many of the rhythm tracks to Cartographer in 2003. I have to say the most difficult part of finishing Cartographer was our tendency to get distracted or you might say inspired and chase other musical ideas. Early in 2007 we went back and listened to the Cartographer sessions and realized it was something that we wanted to put the finishing touches on. We called Luna and put the project on the fast track.

>>I think of the most polarizing aspects of Cartographer was simply the addition Luna Sans, and though she has a lovely voice, it marked a change that jarred some of the instrumental-only lovers out there, but you also remedied this with the second disc of instrumentals that came with Cartographer. What marked the change in direction? Have you thought of writing for/producing other acts outside of yourselves?

Well, the most important aspect of Cartographer to us is that Luna's voice inspired us so deeply. Working with her was an invigorating experience. We did the Piri Reis version as an exercise of creativity, but when I'm in my car I listen to the Luna version. The collaboration process was amazing and I think if the right artist came along, we'd be up to doing it again. Presently, it's just the two of us locked in our cave together working on a follow up to Unearthed.

>>One of the strangest detours of your career came in handling new material for the NFL of all places (which, of course, yielded mind-blowing results). What made you accept their offer in the first place? Will we hear more posthumus compositions in ads in the near-future?

Strange, but uber cool. Both Hemut and I are sports freaks and were really into writing the theme for The NFL on CBS. Again, if the right opportunity presented itself we would certainly consider writing for an ad, film or another artist.

>>Given the sheer complexity of your recordings, I would imagine it to be somewhat of a challenge to perform your songs live. Have you ever considered touring?

You hit the nail on the head. An E.S. Posthumus live show would be a major production. While we would love to see that come to fruition at some point, for now we'll just keep writing and recording. When the timing is right, I'm sure we'll get up on stage and tear it up.

>>Of all the songs you've done so far, what's been a personal favorite?

Personally, that would be impossible for me to answer. I would have to say that writing, recording and performing Unstoppable for last year's AFC Championship Game on CBS was a blast. The guys at CBS really did an amazing job of shooting the piece, and it was a nice glimpse into what an E.S. Posthumus live performance might look like.

>>Lastly: so far in your career, what's been your biggest regret, and, conversely, what's been your proudest accomplishment?

I think that both Helmut and I wish we would have stayed course and put out Cartographer a few years earlier. But I guess everything happens for a reason, the timing just wasn't right. We're both very proud of our body of work thus far and hope our greatest accomplishments are yet to come.