Andreas Stensland Løwe - jazz pianist
For a long time, I have envied jazz musicians for having their own musical language. Naturally, any style/genre comes with rules, whether they are written out or not, and I can’t claim that jazz musicians actually are freer than other musicians (although, as I write in chapter seven, there is research showing differences in the brains of different types of musicians.)
Letting a jazz musician play Monteverdi is not as far fetched, or far out, as it may sound. Andrew Lawrence-King often talks about it FN and, as mentioned earlier, there are several crossover projects between jazz and baroque. Or pop and baroque. Or folk and baroque. FN
Andreas says he doesn’t know much about early Italian baroque music, but he does know a lot about how to form a musical landscape with a melody line and a bass line - how to seize a lot from quite scarce information - and to create a sound of his own.
The implied and inherent freedom in his playing encourages me to move further away from my musical norm. Not one of the versions we played sounded like the one before, and each version opened new doors for me. It was like making cover-versions of Orfeo’s and Euridice’s arias, rather than reproducing them in the conventional/HIP way.FN
Together with Andreas, I experimented by going in and out of beats, following the ”tempo del animo” instead of ”dal mano". I got lost - often - but I also found out things about ”my” Orfeo: Orfeo can’t sing in any other way than ”with his soul” - because his soul/anima is song.
Going in and out of the beats, sometimes singing with ”the hand” and sometimes ”with the soul”, helped me find some of the personalities of the other characters too. Are they before the beat, heavy on the beat, or just in time? What does that tell me about them?
To know when to say or do what. To be aware of the friction and tension in the timing; being a tiny bit late can make the whole thing move forward.
The pulse is steady (or, if you will, unsteady) as a heartbeat.
Orfeo moves around the beat but is always right.
Euridice is somewhat behind the beat, as if she doesn’t trust herself.
Messagiera is also after the beat - she doesn’t want to be there at all.
Speranza is before the beat, always. Leading. Showing the way and speeding up.
Caronte is heavy, heavy, heavy. His beats are uneven, he has no energy left to care.
Proserpina glides around it. A bit like Orfeo, but in her own teasing way.
Plutone has his own beat.
Andreas was also with me in the performance ”Orfevs” I presented in chapter 2.