Milan Pilar ‘Nature – Spoiled and Unspoiled’

'Nature - Spoiled and Unspoiled' LP front cover
'Nature - Spoiled and Unspoiled' LP back cover
'Nature - Spoiled and Unspoiled' side A

Milan Pilar was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1932. In 1960, he was playing double-bass with the Prague Semafor Theater orchestra, where he met jazz singer Eva Pilarova, whom he married in 1960 and had a son with in 1962 (also named Milan, so there is a possible confusion here). They parted in 1962, when he moved to Germany to study music in Köln, where he settled thereafter. He first played keyboards with the German all-percussionist big band Niagara, who made 3 LPs in the early 1970s, but also played double-bass with symphony and opera orchestras. A gifted jazz player, he formed the Catch Up trio in the mid-1970s along pianist Max Greger and drummer Charly Antolini (two LPs in 1975 and 76). During the 1980s, he made several library music LPs for Coloursound, starting with Pastoral Seasons in 1982. In 1992, he formed the Milan Pilar Group (Jiri Stivin, Lee Harper, Roberto Di Gioia, Wolfgang Haffner and Stephan Maass, CD ‘Sources’, 1992). During the 1990s, he made several mood music CDs for German label Selected Sounds and, in 1999, he contributed to the Fjord – Symphonie des Mers Froides CD published by Strategic Marketing.

Coloursound was a German progressive synth and library music label founded in München by composer/producer Gunter Greffenius. It started in the late 1970s with the merging of Edition Show Business and Conroy. The catalog included several solo albums by Brainticket member Joel Vandroogenbroeck under his own name or the Eric Vann and J.V.D.B. aliases. I assume label boss Greffenius made several albums as well under various aliases, among them probably Marc Monsen or Gil Flat. The cover art was often done by Greffenius’s wife, Waltraud, as is the case here.

‘Nature – Spoiled and Unspoiled’ is actually closer to a concept album than a regular library music LP, as its ambition is to offer an overview of various environmental issues with sounds, melodies and atmospheres. Free from any cynicism, the music demonstrates a sincere concern for the environment through a perfectly balanced mix of synthesizer and acoustic instruments (flute, clarinet, acoustic guitar, pan pipe, Flexatone). The tracks alternate between sombre, hopeless evocations and more serene moods suggesting a solution is graspable and a better world still possible. Sometimes accusing, the composer is never lecturing us, yet listening to Toxic Gas and Plant Pollution, for instance, you really feel sorry for this Planet. The technique on acoustic guitar and synth programing is faultless, and though the pan pipe on tracks #5 and 10 is a tad too much to these ears, the LP totally achieves making the listener consider the situation in a certain way. Die Grünen says: Danke schön !

01 Unspoiled Beauty (3:01)
02 Irony of Force (2:53)
03 Untouched (3:06)
04 Inhibited Growth (3:08)
05 Point of Contact (3:07)
06 Green Country (2:54)
07 Toxic Gas (2:45)
08 The Urge Onwards (2:20)
09 Seclusion (3:07)
10 Agony (3:16)
11 Plant Pollution (3:31)
12 Reconciliation (2:49)
13 Mirage (2:50)
14 Poisoners (3:06)

Total time 42:00
LP released by Coloursound, ref. CS40, München, 1983


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6 Responses to “Milan Pilar ‘Nature – Spoiled and Unspoiled’”

  1. 2 continuo June 30, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    You’re welcome. There’s some pretty good stuff on Coloursound, I think.

  2. 3 Carl Howard July 6, 2010 at 3:49 am


  3. 4 Ptrond July 29, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Thanks so much for sharing, and for your great description :)

  4. 5 continuo July 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Thank you both. I plan more library music posts in the future.

  5. 6 house303 August 30, 2010 at 1:50 am

    I think I’ll definitely start giving more attention to this place from now on…Thank you!!

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