Interviewer: Yannick Blay
(Ceased publication at the end of 2010. Yannick has also written articles on LJK in Elegy magazine and in 2012 moved to Premonition magazine, also in France.)
Alabaster is very varied. It seems that you could sing with any artist of any genre, always with the same pleasure and talent.
Thank you! It is a pleasure to work with musicians who are so talented, and whom I love.
‘Throng on the Pier’ (#1) is simply wonderful! What specific image and scene had you in mind to write this song from The Iliad and Dante’s Inferno?
The image and scene were inspired by the aftermath of a battle in Homer’s Iliad, where Odysseus surveys the destruction and utters: “Athena, love me as much as you can”. We were also imagining a scene in Dante’s Inferno, where a throng of dead souls have gathered on the pier, awaiting the ferryman. Transposing it to a modern scene, we felt there was no longer room to carry so many souls, so now they are summoning ghost-trains. For this recording we were graced with a contribution by Daemonia Nymphe, who play authentic Greek instruments from antiquity.
‘How should I your true Love know?’ (#9) wonderfully reminds me of the symbolist painting ‘Ophelia’ by John Everett Millais. Could we define your music as symbolist?
I do love the Pre-Raphaelites, though… find their idealism limiting… one risks losing the anarchy, irreverence and vulgarity essential to great expression. Alongside Shakespeare’s romantic lovers were the common, crude, bawdy characters! Yet Ophelia is for me the most poignant of (his) female suicides, as she had less power over men than Juliet or Lady Macbeth exerted; Ophelia is perhaps the sweetest, loneliest and most fragile. Is my music symbolist? I don’t know.