Ute Lemper to Celebrate THE 9 SECRETS at Symphony Space This May
The album presents a song cycle composed and sung by Lemper, set to words by Coelho from his 2012 novel Manuscript Found in Accra, the thematic content of which may be encapsulated in the lines, "After lying undiscovered for over 700 years, a manuscript holding the answers to questions about life and humanity is unearthed. / Simple questions about our lives torn between happiness and sorrow and defined by hope, intelligence and desire to love as much as the capacity to hate and destroy." Coelho himself is featured on two tracks-see below for track list.
Recorded in New York and produced by Lemper, the album features an international lineup of leading musicians including Gil Goldstein, who plays accordion and contributes string arrangements on almost all tracks, and Jamshied Sharifi who contributes Middle Eastern arrangements, shepherd's flute, additional percussion and string arrangements; virtuosos of Middle Eastern instruments including Dafer Tawil (qanun, ney, percussion), Henri Angel(orpharion, cetara, rebec), Idriss Angel (zarb, cittern, udu drum) and Mavrothi Kontanis(oud); and Ute's New York band, featuring John Benthal on guitar, Henry Hey and Clifford Carter on piano and keyboards, Todd Turkisher on percussion and Steve Millhouse on bass.
Of the collaboration, Lemper says, "I read Paulo's beautiful book on tour in Australia in the late summer of 2013, and a coat of peace enveloped me. It is a gift to the world, and if I can enhance it only a little bit with this third dimension of musical context, I am eternally grateful." Coelho, long a fan of Lemper's music, notes, "The music is the perfect combination for the words-it is the perfect marriage. I hope to never get a divorce!"
Lemper's career is vast and varied, having made her mark in films, recordings and on theater and concert stages around the world. As a recording artist, her discography thus far encompasses more than 30 albums over 30 years, including 2012's Grammy-nominated Paris Days, Berlin Nights on Steinway & Sons. She has been lauded for her interpretations of Berlin cabaret songs, the works of Kurt Weill and Berthold Brecht and the Chansons of Marlene Dietrich, Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Leo Ferre, Jacques Prevert and Nino Rota, among many others-not to mention her own compositions. She has recorded the music of Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Philip Glass and Nick Cave, and was named Billboard's Crossover Artist of the Year for 1993-1994.
On the concert stage, Lemper has performed both with her own ensembles and symphony orchestras across the globe in an array of programs including: Forever, an homage to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda; Ultimo Tango, a journey through the songs of Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla with the Astor Piazzolla Sextet; The Bukowski Project, a musical collage of the poetry of Charles Bukowski; Paris Days, Berlin Nights, featuring songs of love and war composed by Hans Eisler, Weill, Brel, Piaf and Piazzolla along with folksongs in Yiddish and in Russian; and symphonic evenings dedicated to the work of Weill, Brecht, Piaf, Brel, Ferre, Stephen Sondheim and many more. She has performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the symphony orchestras of London, Israel, Boston, Hollywood, San Francisco, Berlin and The Paris Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Her many film and television credits include Woody Allen's recent Magic in the Moonlight, Robert Altman's Pret à Porter, Pierre Granier-Deferre's L'Autrichienne, Peter Greenaway'sProspero's Books, Ivan Dykhovichnyy's Moscow Parade, Norman Jewison's Bogus, Benoit Lamy's Combat de Fauves, James Merendino's A River Made to Drown In, George Milton'sAppetite, Bravo TV's "Ute Lemper Sings Kurt Weill" and a star-studded live television broadcast of Pink Floyd's "The Wall, Live in Berlin."
Born in Munster, Germany and based now in New York, Lemper completed her studies at The Dance Academy in Cologne and the Max Reinhardt Seminary Drama School in Vienna and made her professional debut in the original Vienna production of Cats in the roles of Grizabella and Bombalurina. She went on to play Peter Pan in Peter Pan in Berlin and Sally Bowles in Jerome Savary's Cabaret in Paris, for which she received the Moliere Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She played Lola in The Blue Angel under the direction of Peter Zadek and Maurice Bejart created the ballet La Mort Subite for her in Paris. She originated the role of Velma Kelly in London's West End production of Chicago, for which she was honored with the Laurence Olivier Award, moved to the Broadway production where she received the American Theatre Award, and went on to star in the production's Las Vegas premiere with Chita Rivera.
After lying undiscovered for over 700 years, a manuscript holding the answers to questions about life and humanity is unearthed. / Simple questions about our lives torn between happiness and sorrow and defined by hope, intelligence and desire to love as much as the capacity to hate and destroy... This is not about the absolute truth of life or death. Despite all futile arguments it will stay a mystery. / But it is about knowledge that helps us live and confront the challenges of day to day life. / A simple knowledge of the heart.
THE 9 SECRETS Tracklist:
4. The Story of Accra*
8. The Word and the Virtue
11. Paulo's Story*
12. A Thought
*featuring Paulo Coelho