AUDIO MAGAZINEOctober 03, 2009
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)