Star Ledger (NJ) article

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NJ Fan Chris
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Star Ledger (NJ) article

Postby NJ Fan Chris » Fri May 08, 2009 6:52 pm

To coincide with Vienna's upcoming performance at the South Orange Performing Arts Center

http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2009/05/bicoastal_sound_with_a_ny_acce.html

By the way, SOPAC is a real nice room. About the size of World Cafe Live but with theater seating, great acoustics, good downtown area. This is also a do-able show for folks from NYC. SOPAC is right next door to the South Orange train station. You can take Midtown Direct Service from Penn Station to South Orange. UNFORTUNATELY Midtown Direct isn't available late at night. After the concert, you would have to take a train to Hoboken and transfer to a PATH train. Not as convenient afterwards, but still do-able for NYC fans.
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Fred
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Postby Fred » Sat May 09, 2009 1:09 am

Thanks for putting this up, Chris. Interesting insights, a little different than what we hear from most of her interviewers. I like the comparison to Suzanne Vega, since I've noticed that similarity myself (both vocally & in terms of songwriting), have always liked Suzanne's music, & am tired of hearing the usual comparisons. Unfortunately I've got conflicts with the SOPAC show, but I hope you enjoy it.

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Postby NJ Fan Chris » Sat May 09, 2009 5:16 pm

Thanks Fred. It was a pleasant surprise to open up the newspaper yesterday and see that article.
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Re: Star Ledger (NJ) article

Postby Walking Stranger » Sat May 09, 2009 5:38 pm

Thanks NJ Fan Chris for sharing this.

"There was always the joy of innocent discovery in it."
I like that idea of a job similar to that ;)...
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Postby shawn » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:02 pm

Belated reply, but I also wanted to thank Chris for the link.

I find the comparison to Suzanne Vega interesting as well, as it helps me to put into words some of my thoughts on the songs of IT. I remember when the lyrics to the songs were posted to the forum, well in advance of the release, and I have to confess, at the time I read them I thought, "I don't know about these; I'm afraid she might be losing me here." Admittedly, one can't really judge a song by lyrics alone, yet since lyrics were all I had (not having had the opportunity to hear any of the songs live at that time), I couldn't help but do so. And to me, the lyrics alone just seemed very dense, heavy, even lifeless. Who outside of a history class uses words like "antebellum" and "armistice"? Kansas just sounded bleak and flat, like, well, Kansas. And I didn't know what to make of Grandmother Song; for some reason that seems completely bizarre now, I pictured in my mind an almost dirge-like tune that would accompany the words. Vienna's scrapbook postings and tweets during the recording process also seemed to indicate a more ponderous approach, with lots of additional instrumentation (where I've always tended more towards favoring the keep-it-simple approach to songs and songwriting). Truth be told, I really didn't think I would like the new album very much.

But when I finally started being able to actually hear the songs - first on the Mountain Stage performance, later at her Club Passim show this past December, and then obviously when the album came out - I realized that I couldn't have been more wrong. The intricate instrumentation actually does do justice to the songs, but more so than that (for me, at least), Vienna's vocal performance truly does bring the IT songs to life. Her voice has always been beautiful, but as the Star-Ledger article mentions, in the past there was always a sense of cool detachment to her singing. But now she's found a new gear in her singing; the emotion in her voice matches the emotion of the songs. On Kansas, especially, I can feel it - you can hear the heartbreak in her voice, and it makes the song far richer than what it reads on the written page alone. And then, seemingly on the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Grandmother Song, which taps into something that almost seems encoded in our DNA - the tune could be sung and would seem entirely in place in both an Appalachian hollow and on a brownstone stoop - and Vienna just turns on the tap and lets it flow through her voice, the trials of one generation and the expressing of hope for the next.

There are some songs in her back catalog that I'd love to hear her sing now, with the way she's singing now. Not that she didn't sing those songs well before - she certainly did - but I think she could really bring out even more in them now, assuming she could put herself into whatever frame of mind she was in when she first wrote them. For me, My Medea is one of them; Momentum is another. I'm sure others might think of other songs from the other albums that they'd love to hear her sing now.

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Postby Walking Stranger » Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:14 am

shawn wrote: And then, seemingly on the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Grandmother Song, which taps into something that almost seems encoded in our DNA - the tune could be sung and would seem entirely in place in both an Appalachian hollow and on a brownstone stoop - and Vienna just turns on the tap and lets it flow through her voice, the trials of one generation and the expressing of hope for the next.


I like this expression "encoded in our DNA"...
Well, personally and as a non-English-born-speaker stranger, not knowing about the lyrics or the meaning of them does not mind me as there is her voice and also the way she plays the piano.
I talked a few days ago to someone I gave DTTN and she said she likes it a lot and so much that she ripped the cd into mp3 for her digital player or walkman so as to have VT songs at hand and she added that her voice is soothing.

When thinking about all this, I remember a singer says that there is the voice, beyond words, beyond the meaning of words and of the lyrics, there is the MAGIC of the voice that carries it .... here is an extract of what he says :

Nilda Fernandez - LUXE.TV - Sandrine Facques - Patric Fohnen - Jean Huot
http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ-RfjbNmI8

"[...]Quand je chante, j'ai dans la tête les mots que je chante. Les notes viennent toutes seules, j'ai une voix pour ça donc ça va, je...
Les... les mots ... euh ... sont ...sont quelque chose de ... de ... de... de mystérieux et de "magiques" au sens... au sens premier du mot. C'est pas comme on dit maintenant "Ah c'est magique !" c'est un peu galvaudé. Non, non!
Les mots ont une capacité "magique".
Quand on dit à quelqu'un "Je t'aime" c'est à la fois un ensorcellement qu'on lui lance, enfin c'est... c'est un envoûtement qu'on lui lance, c'est aussi une ... une façon aussi de... de...de le... de l'enfermer, hein !
Il y a des mots qui enferment qui sont des ... qui sont des ... des pratiques presque "de sorciers".
Et ...quand on chante, il y a ... il y a un envoûtement aussi, je pense, des mots. Au-delà de leur sens précis, au-delà de ce qu'on veut dire ou exprimer, il y a la voix humaine qui les tient.
[...] L'art de vivre pour moi, c'est... c'est vraiment de construire un chef-d'œuvre, de faire un chef d'œuvre. Le chef-d'œuvre au Moyen-Âge, c'était ce que le compagnon faisait à la fin de son périple de compagnonnage, quand il apprenait un métier il finissait par ce qui était convenu d'appeler un chef-d'œuvre. Un "chef" d'œuvre. Pour lui, devenir le chef de cette œuvre. Et pour moi, la vie c'est déjà un chef-d'œuvre à accomplir."
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