Fola Dada & Rainer Tempel - Amherst
Fola Dada – Voice
Rainer Tempel - Piano
The scoring of poems forms a genre of its own: Lyrics, Poems. The old German "Lyrik und Jazz" is less appropriate here, since large parts of Amherst refer to the tradition of Anglo-American songs. Piano playing corresponding with classical lieder (songs) can also be heard. Other titles could well come from musicals, at least that's how they sound. Also some bars of jazz are to be discovered, such a light swinging in boogie-woogie manner.
But that is not essential. What is essential is the attempt to not only let the lines of the poems speak with one's own voice and corresponding music, but to act as a song and thereby strengthen the artistic statement. Of course, the content of a sung text is essential. Well, apart from (quasi) native speakers, it requires greater effort if the text should be understood. Especially with lyric poetry, which often appears hermetic, i.e. "closed", text analysis is necessary for this. Those who don't want to or can't do that, let themselves be influenced by the music alone, by the way of singing.
At Amtherst, this seems to be possible. Pianist Rainer Tempel, who conceived the music for this project, and singer Fola Dada, try their own way, a difficult mediation of text and music. Thereby the music shows less lyrical elements than assumed. If it does, it is due to Fola Dada's intonation. The piano playing favors accentuated rhythms, powerfully struck chords that can sometimes rise to dramatic aspects. Both rely in their music on the temptation of the human voice and the emotional impact of piano soundscapes.
Text: Cosmo Scharmer