Biography - Enigma 4
"Good Evening. This is the voice of Enigma. In the next hour we will take you with us into another world - into the world of music, spirit, and meditation. Turn off the light, take a deep breath, and relax. Start to move slowly, very slowly. Let the rhythm be your guiding light." Ten years ago, these words marked the beginning of a new musical era. It was the announcement of an all-embracing work of art: sounds that had originated some 1,000 years before combined with voices from diverse cultures from around the globe and contemporary dance rhythms. But all of these rather contradictive elements created a new sound, a new listening adventure, a new idea - all of this came to be Enigma.
“Enigma has been a kind of music not connected to any trend from the very beginning. It originated like a UFO, landed like a UFO and still is a UFO today.“
Ten years after the release of the stellar debut, the three Enigma albums released to date have sold in excess of 22 million units around the world, but the success of the musical project is still an enigma shrouded in mystery. In the fickle world of fashion trends change with the seasons, so it all the more surprising that a musical philosophy does not only turn into a formula for success but lives on, constantly reinventing itself. “My music sends out signals that inspire and touch people”. Signals that let people dream or dance, suffer or love, meditate or make music. Enigma is the epitome of “whole body music” - music that frees the body and the mind.
“Music is my passion. What should I do all day?”
Michael Cretu was born in Romania’s capital city Bucharest in 1957. His extraordinary talent and passion for music did not remain undetected and in 1965, aged eight, he was admitted to Lyzeum no. 2. - a college for young and gifted musical talents. When he emigrated to Germany in 1975, he began studying at the Academy of Music in Frankfurt, and in 1978 he passed his final exams with distinction. Deserting his goal of classical music, he smoothly switched from serious music to pop music. He started working as a studio musician but then focused on his own career. The artists with whom Michael has been associated with include his wife Sandra - who was Germany’s most successful international pop singer in the 80ies (topped the charts at no. 1 chart in 30 countries), internationally renowned artist Mike Oldfield and Andru Donalds. His work as producer, writer and arranger stands for perfection and unequalled quality. Or in short: it is about bringing high quality art to the masses.
“If somebody looks in a mirror, they see themselves the way they want to see themselves. But a lot lies hidden between what people consider themselves to be and what they really are.”
“The Screen Behind The Mirror” is the fourth Enigma instalment masterminded by Michael Cretu. The alchemist of music has created yet another fantastic concoction of unique cutting-edge sounds and effects. "There is hardly any repetition on the whole album. Neither with the grooves, nor the kind of composition or the harmonious structures." Like a Noah’s Ark, the “sound ship” Enigma has taken on board a multitude of different sounds, voices and rhythms from different cultures around the world. And Michael abides by his own rules: “I want everything to come across as simple as possible, no matter how complicated my motifs may be” - and thus his high-concept compositions take the listener on a rewarding and unique musical journey.
Michael continues to mystify the world of music. The ominous movement addressing the Goddess of luck “O Fortuna” from Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” is the leitmotif of this album - it repeatedly appears throughout the tracks harmoniously threading them together. Cretu regards this sequence of Orff’s magnum opus as “probably one of the strongest moments ever written in classical music.” The repeated use of the Carl Orff sample on the hit-single “Gravity of Love” perfectly complements Enigma’s melodically ambient sound-scapes. The intriguing track features Ruth Ann on vocals. Michael Cretu speaks highly of the British singer who accomplished no. 1 hit (“You Are Not Alone”) in 1997 with her band Olive: “It’s the newness, the freshness of her voice and this youthful naivety - in the positive sense of the word. I hadn’t heard this before”. On his fourth album “The Screen Behind The Mirror”, Michael continues to explore the realm of sensual sounds and chill-out moods; and the eleven tracks on the album conjure an intriguing atmosphere! But the formula to creating such a unique sound-scape is his best-kept secret.
“There is no bold message on the album “The Screen Behind The Mirror” - however, it does include many ciphers and hidden clues - but that is for everybody to figure out for himself. The project isn’t called “instruction manual” but still goes by the name of Enigma.”