Die Irrlichter is a German medieval folk–band, that performs folk and medieval songs, as well as their own compositions. The band’s name translates from German as “will-o’-the-wisps”. According to ancient beliefs, it is evil spirits, which knock the travelers from the road and lead them off into the quagmire to die; in addition, there are legends that will-o’-the-wisps mark places where the treasures are.
The band was founded in 2001 in Bonn. The original membership included: Brigitta Jaroschek (vocals, lute, guitar, 12–string guitar, cittern, mandolin, harp), Anna Karin (vocals, davul, percussion, lute), Ulrike Endesfelder (vocals, flute, Rauschpfeife, violin, percussion), Christoph Danielec (vocals, Schalm, Rauschpfeife, flute, bagpipes). They perform as bards and at Medieval reenactment scenes, that is at fairs, banquets and festivals, in Germany and abroad. Debut album Koboldtanz (Kobold’s Dance) was released in 2002. The debut album was very successful and made the band well-known. The second album Elfenhain (Elven Glade) was released in 2004. By that time there have been some personnel changes in the band: Edwin Meisner left the band, so violinist Ulrika Endesfelder replaced him, and Stephanie Keup-Büser became a new flutist. In 2005 the band recorded a Christmas EP Angelus ad Virginem, a full–length album Aventiure was released in 2006, which, in their own words, “takes the listener into a world of adventure, pickpockets and witches.” The next album titled Goldstück was released in 2008. At the time of its recording, the band changed. However, the traditional personnel changes didn’t affected the quality of the material, and Goldstück soon after the release quite deservedly was in the top German folk charts. In October 2010 the album Rauhnächte appeared. For the first time in the band’s history, the band remained unchanged from the previous album, but they experimented with sound: the songs were not only played in the studio, but mostly in a church. Originally, the group’s highly successful Christmas concert program was to be recorded with Rauhnachten, but the production became a somewhat broader concept album with autumn and winter music. Of the other albums it differs by a solemn, concerted mood without classical “market music”. A new album titled Zaubergarten was released in 2015 with the remaining three musicians of the band (Brigitta Jaroschek, Stephanie Keup-Büser and Jutta Simon-Alt). The focus is again on ballads, fairy tales and “magical” music.