Heilung performed for a sold out crowd at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland on January 22, 2020 — and Hazy Eye Music Media’s contributor Abdullah Konte was there to capture some medieval folk magic. Yep, in this “Photo Flashback” we’re taking a trip down memory lane with Heilung — and Abdullah is our guide.
Heilung is an experimental folk band made up of members from Denmark, Norway and Germany. Their music is based on texts and runic inscriptions from Germanic peoples of the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Viking Age. Heilung describe their music as “amplified history from early medieval northern Europe.” Their music is usually about Norse deities, jǫtnar, and valkyries. “Heilung” is a German word meaning “healing” in English.
According to an August 2018 interview, the instruments Heilung use during their performances consist of:
- drums, including one with horse skin painted with human blood, two drums with deer skin and a drum with goatskin
- bones, including a human forearm bone and deer bones
- a buffalo horn rattle
- a clay rattle with human ashes
- a Hindu ritual bell
- antiques from temples
- a reconstructed silver cup from the Viking age
- a ravanahatha (an ancient Indian instrument)
According to members of the band, the name “Heilung”, meaning healing in German, says something about the style of the band: “The listener is supposed to be left at ease and in a relaxed state after a magical musical journey that is at times turbulent.” The recordings of the band are not limited to music, but also contain poems.
Elaborately designed costumes are worn by the band members on stage. These are partly based on the “spiritual traditions of the Eurasian circumpolar peoples”, or are historically correct reproductions of Nordic Bronze Age clothing. The band has no connection with modern political or religious concepts.
Here are some more photos of Heilung performing at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland on January 22, 2020. All images copyright and courtesy of Abdullah Konte. All images are the property of Abdullah Konte.
Stream these Heilung albums on Spotify: