Exploring the depths of humanity. ‘HANUSSEN: The Enigmatic Clairvoyant’ by John Beckmann | Mortal Prophets

Each note resonates with a haunting energy, akin to lightning slowed to a snail's pace, evoking a sense of foreboding that lingers long after the final chord fades
16 May 2024
Photo by Cat Chow

Opera, at its core, is a medium that encapsulates the essence of human existence, weaving intricate compositions into a tapestry of emotions and experiences. In John Beckmann’s latest ​w​ork, HANUSSEN: The Enigmatic Clairvoyant,​ this essence is not only preserved, but it is also elevated to a mysterious realm where mystique and reality come together.

This captivating musical collaboration between the engaging New York City composer-performer and Dämmerungschor (vocal ​ensemble​) was recorded at Lux Astralis in New York. Mastering was conducted by Jonas W. Karlsson at Henkka Niemistö Mastering in Helsinki and Los Angeles.

Inspired by the intriguing life of Erik Jan Hanussen*, a Viennese mystic with a complex connection to Adolf Hitler, Beckmann embarks on a sonic journey that transcends the boundaries of time and space. Within the eleven acts of this mesmerizing opera, Beckmann expertly intertwines voices, synthesizers, and electronic elements, crafting an immersive soundscape that delves into the depths of human empathy.

Each note resonates with a haunting energy, akin to lightning slowed to a snail’s pace, evoking a sense of foreboding that lingers long after the final chord fades. Despite its modern production, HANUSSEN exudes a timeless quality, with echoes of bygone eras reverberating throughout. The piano’s haunting melodies, notably in Act III and the Midway Interlude, evoke memory’s delicate hold on reality. Amidst melancholy, solace emerges, like ambient guitar passages in Act V, akin to distant stars in the night sky. Yet, fleeting peace is overshadowed by impending doom, symbolized by the burning light of upheaval.

In the Epilogue, John Beckmann | Mortal Prophets confronts the past, urging reflection on its lessons for the future. Through his evocative compositions, he warns against repeating history’s errors. HANUSSEN: The Enigmatic Clairvoyant released via Lux Astralis Music, transcends opera, offering a profound journey across time and space, revealing music’s ability to surpass reality and touch the depths of the human soul.

instagram.com/mortalprophets

*Erik Jan Hanussen (1889-1933), the Vienna-born Jewish mystic who assumed the role of a psychic counselor to Adolf Hitler.