June 2002, Italy
Interviewer: Francesco Palumbo (My Kingdom Music)
Related links where this mag is cited – we don’t know if it’s still publishing:
A modern witch
to enchant you
like in a fairytale.
Louisa will emotionate you
with her beautiful voice,
her poetic music,
her classical dreams.
When I listen to Louisa’s voice I feel a magic sensation… a mix of magic, astonishment and wonder for the incredible beauty she succeeds to give with her music and her voice. Louisa is in my opinion… the best female singer in the underground scene; she is one of the few singers who is able to create with her voice something similar to a poetry made music… She is original, unique in her alchemy, in a few words a modern witch who has chosen the music to divulgate her spells, in a classical, ancient, amazing way that I really adore. Enjoy her words, maybe coming from another century.
The first thing I want to tell you is to wish you all my compliments for the sublime sensations and feelings your music is able to create and to give the listeners. ‘Ariel’ but also your previous albums, present music full of great sensations. Can you tell me more about the way the album has been conceived and above all what does it represent to you?
It was conceived in soulful alchemy, a pool lit by various lamps: emotion, sensation, intellect, spirit, each informing the other. The results may be impulsive or intimate, changing as light shifts and liquid moves. This album represents to me the flight of imagination and the allure of life.
Would you… present Ariel song by song to my readers with a few words for each episode?
#1 Blackbird: a woman summons a bird to take her soul away.
#2 Red Balloon: “Ever more free… we race through mid-air, wind-tattered” (Rilke)
#3 Numb the Wren Tear: on an island continent, in tyranny of distance, we must do the impossible:
“climb the ocean, set the snow on fire…” – written for our native fairy wren who has often crossed our path: “The wren with little quill” (Shakespeare)
#4 Nobelius’ Garden: Emerald Lake Park: mountain ferns ramble among eucalyptus, chestnut, amber and streams: “Say unto the tranquil earth: I flow. To the fleeting water speak: I am.” (Rilke)
#5 Beads of Rain: we cling to beads of rain, our hidden key and “that distant tree”.
#6 The Seagiant: first lover as Poseidon… awakened by a siren’s call every thousand years.
#7 Ariel: adapted from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest.
#8 Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers: a garden is on the march – to a ball, or execution – the King & Queen of Hearts, their retinue of cards… it asks the music industry: who stole the tarts?
#9 Tale of a Thorn: “Then to the elements be free” (Shakespeare)
#10 Salamander: tribute to folk singer Nick Drake… Alchemists believed they had made gold when a salamander appeared in the furnace.
#11 Anemone Falling: wordless flight, dream-fall. Petals are lovers, centuries, or human lives.
#12 Sentinel: guardians protect or imprison us… a will-o’-the-wisp lures us with a light.
“Hence, away; now all is well: One, aloof, stand sentinel.” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
I described your songs like hymns to the beauty. What does beauty represent for you? Do you see it in the typical beautiful things or do you sometimes see it in strange…?
I love Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus and Duino Elegies, as they imply that beauty’s power is its transience, prompting poets to immortalize it at the moment of vanishing.
Louisa, your voice is surely one of the most amazing elements of your music together with the charming atmospheres… with its delicate shades it succeeds to give to your music a dreaming aura, indeed. Which are the singers you appreciate…
Azam Ali (Vas) has a suberb voice… Anneli Drecker (Bel Canto) Nico… Heather Duby, Holly Ashton (Locust), Fadia El-Hage (Vox), Teresa Salgueiro (Madredeus), Agnes Buen Garnas…
In your album sometimes it seems that the listener is lost in ancient times, due to the classical influences it sounds. For the same reason I see you part of an epoch that maybe doesn’t represent you totally. If you could choose a time of the past, which would be the period you’d love to live and why?
If I lived in earlier centuries, I would not be recording music. I’d be dying in childbirth or burning at the stake for witchcraft! Ironically, it is modern tolerance that permits my return to a heathen, animistic view of Nature, and frees me from her reproductive tyranny… Visiting Greece, I felt affinity with pagan temples. But I accessed them (as) a contemporary woman…
What does it enchant you about this kind of sonorities and which are the bands or artists that mostly have influenced your way to see music?
I’ve mentioned women, so now for the men: Respighi (Botticelli Pictures), Arvo Part (Arbos), Purcell (Fairy Queen), Stephen Micus, Alio Die, Ashera, Robert Rich, Gianfranco Grilli, Vidna Obmana, Giorgos Christianakis, Brendan Perry, Sean Bowley, Geir Jenssen, Auri Avizia.
Your lyrics seem to deal with very amazing topics like strange visions, mythological subjects and bizarre creatures. What does it fascinate you about these arguments?
They (are) playful, volatile, mischievous visitors or psychopomps, sentinels, totems, guides…
Behind the CD there is a quote written by Wallace Stevens that says: “The river is moving, the blackbird must be flying” that gives me a sort of metaphor of each individual’s life. Why did you choose it and what is the meaning of this quote for you?
I like your interpretation… The line is mysterious, for the bird is not seen but intuited. It’s an announcement and invitation: now is the time, once and for all – come along! It points to a divine pattern, beyond time yet potently alive to this moment: Now!
Tell me your opinion about the following arguments: Darkness – Pain – Love.
None exist without the other… I am living by Rilke’s words: “Among the fleeting, in the realm of declination, be a resonant glass that shatters while it is ringing”.
Personal questions now: What does silence mean to you and in which occasions do you like to feel and listen to it?
Silence between notes, between love and sleep, between leaves and sky, between skin and sea…
Is there a man, a woman, that have represented a focal point in your inner-growth and in which way did it change your way to see and intend life and music?
My husband, Mark (Mirek) Krol, introduced me to inspiring literature and music, encouraged my political shift to the left, written many songs with me and is still my toughest critic.
And what about dream? Are you a dreamer and what does dream mean and represent?
Dreaming while awake. To enchant and be enchanted. Not just wishfully but vividly, passionately. So flowers speak, birds steal souls, salamanders leap in fire, seagods roar.
Compare your music to a colour and a scent and explain me the motivations.
You ask for a colour, when I cannot even choose a god? You ask for a scent, when we enter the Garden of Live Flowers?
To end this interview… imagine closing your eyes and seeing your music transformed in a painting… which kind of images do you see and which kind of colours would be used to paint it?
Something like Huskisson’s painting (1847), “Come Unto these Yellow Sands” (The Tempest): with his dramatic lighting, dancers shining against deep blue inside a proscenium arch, a window to Faerieland. Through it one flies to other scenes, as by Dulac, Rackham, Millais, Paton, Simmons, Fitzgerald, Lucien, Lemmen or Blake, or Sir Tree’s stage directions for Ariel (1904)… storms, fires, mist, white mares, phantoms, gleaming coral: ‘light that never was on sea or land…’