10.03.09 AUDIO MAGAZINE
Welcome Santa Sting - Just ten weeks until Christmas, it is time for a Winter/Christmas CD then... Sting also thought this way and presents "If on a Winter's night", an album with some unusual sounds and what he learned about himself while making it...
It is a comfortable location for an interview: Instead of an anonymous hotel suite Sting invites us to the stylish and comfortable office of his wife Trudie. The British musician wears a T-shirt and baggy pants, looks relaxed and is in a good mood. He laughs a lot while being interviewed and seems to be glad that his new work is completed at last. After an album with songs of the British Renaissance composer John Dowland he surprises his fan community again with rather unusual sounds...
Q: On "If on a Winter's night" you deal with the theme of winter. What is special for you about this season?
Most Europeans have a psychological need to retreat towards the end of the year and think about what happened in the last few months. After that you can move forward again. Winter is very suitable for that.
Q: What pictures you associate with winter?
I come from Newcastle from the North of England. In the winter it was dark when we went to school. And came back in the dark in the afternoon. I liked that. As well as the magical feeling that snow gave to the landscape. My children don't experience it like that any longer. To me, winter is the season of fantasy and imagination.
Q: You even tackled Franz Schubert's song cycle "Winterreise".
Of course because I like Schubert. For this reason a song of his is in the collection. It is a blueprint for the album's idea. I chose a song though that was relatively easy for me to sing.
Q: I noticed that you explore deeper heights with your voice than before on this CD.
I can control my voice better now. I inhale more deeply and longer and explore deeper areas. I want to keep my heights but it feels interesting for me to sing with a deeper voice.
Q: Did you discover new aspects within yourself doing this?
Yes. I think it is called growing up (laughs). Growing older develops a certain wisdom in your voice and it brings out a new man out of me.
Q: What is different with new Sting?
I am closer to the truth when I sing. It marks more who I am. The uniqueness comes out better. It is like a brand and people recognize my voice instantly. I don't sound like anybody else.
Q: You never sounded like somebody else anyway.
You are right. I am lucky that I have this quirky voice. But I wanted to hone it.
Q. And your development as a person?
Well, I am still quite shy. I am not an extrovert. It is strange for an entertainer because I do extravert things all the time.
Q: All went well for you, though?
I am grateful for my life. I would like to live at least another 58 years. I have no idea what I could do, though. Perhaps I would hang around in my garden.
Q: Or you teach the lute?
You can't teach anybody anything. That is a fallacy.
Q: You say that as a teacher?
I am convinced that you can only fascinate somebody else with your own joy and enthusiasm about things. And if you are lucky people say: "Oh, great, I like that, I'd like to learn that as well." It doesn't matter whether that is music, science or literature. Teaching means that you are enthusiastic about something and pass that on.
Q: On your CD are Christmas carols too. What did you find interesting about the "Cherry Tree Carol"?
This song is so human. God says to Maria and Joseph: "I shalt give thou a child." Maria has no choice and Joseph is just a bystander. It's an old hymn from the 16 century. I like this story and prefer it to many other "normal" Christmas carols. It is a funny story.
Q: Do you like reflecting back on your own Christmas when you were a child?
Christmas in my childhood has got very ambivalent feelings for me.
The festive mood always tipped over slightly. There was always much tension and there were often arguments.
Q: And today?
My wife Trudie organizes a festive atmosphere and the family comes together at her calling. My children have to travel home from all four corners of the world. Then we have a turkey dinner and many presents.
© Audio Magazine (Germany) by Christiane Rebmann (very kindly translated by Anne G?ºntert)
Telling music's greatest love story: Robert and Clara Schumann's intense relationship has long fascinated music lovers. Now their story once again comes to life through a new project from Sting, Trudie Styler and friends. There are few love stories in the history of classical music to compare with that of Robert and Clara Schumann. From their early forbidden romance through to Robert's tragic death in a mental asylum, their life together was a romantic roller-coaster, and one that has long proved magnetic for musicians and audiences alike. Now a special project, Twin Spirits, written and directed by John Caird, is bringing Robert and Clara to life again, with the help of some of today's most sympathetic musicians and featuring, as the musical lovers, Sting and his wife Trudie Styler...
Sting has leant his voice and his lyrics to a campaign spearheaded by Prince Charles intended to safeguard against the destruction of the world's rainforests. He has released a special compilation video of The Police's 'Message in a Bottle', urging the public to (as the chorus goes) 'send an SOS to the world' in support of the Prince's Rainforests Project (PRP)...
A WINTER GATHERING: It is February 2009, a cold, relentless wind rattles doors and windows as it wraps itself round the old house that sits atop a Tuscan hillside. Surrounded by cypress trees standing against the wintry onslaught, the house has been my home and retreat for the last decade. In the summer, its elevation gives us some respite from the sizzling temperatures in nearby Florence, but in the winter we experience the implacable wind that descends from the North down the peninsula and across the exposed Tuscan hills...
The Rainforest Foundation UK have very kindly given Sting.com members the opportunity to view the prints for sale and you can do this by visiting www.rainforestfoundationuk.org/ecatalogue
registering and then logging in and viewing the catalogue...
It's a bizarre sort of ensemble, a kind of genre-busting supergroup. Distributed carefully about the stage in a smallish studio theatre are stars of theatre, opera, the recital hall and, in a random invasion from left field, the stadium. The assembled include Derek Jacobi on spoken voice, Simon Keenlyside on sung voice, Natalie Clein on cello and Iain Burnside on piano. And wandering in beardedly from the rock and roll hall of fame, that'll be none other than Sting. Plus his wife Trudie Styler...