NEW CD: "HIDDEN PLACE"
Julia Ehninger, on and off stage, radiates a confident warmth and she is not afraid to express latent depths in performance. She wrote both the lyrics and music for her new CD Hidden Place released by BERTHOLD records in spring 2019. Accompanied by Jeroen Truyen on drums, Jonathan Hofmeister on piano and Nicolai Amrehn on double bass, her quartet has produced a subtle and thoughtful album, combining lightness of touch with masterful musicianship.
The singer / composer at first had no overarching theme in mind when she wrote lyrics for the tracks on this CD. That developed once the quartet played the songs. “I discovered that the text deals with the things you don’t see everyday,” she reflects, “... our reality, the hidden forces that shape human behaviour and feeling. On stage, you always give away something of your heart. It doesn’t matter if it’s instrumental music, or if you put words to it.”
Ehninger tells the story of travelling with a friend on the US West Coast. “We got into this huge fight about driving. I wanted to talk about it. He said: no it’s in the past. It’s over now. But I could still feel it. It was unresolved. That inspired me to come up with the lyrics of the song Ghosts from the Past.
To the Red Lighthouse, admits Ehninger was first a composition exercise in which the harmonic foundation allowed only one note-change at a time. “Later,” she explains, “I wrote lyrics to it and dedicated the song to a very special place in New York, the Red Lighthouse on the Hudson River. I often run past it. There you feel that the city has vanished. You just see George Washington Bridge. Everything is calm and you experience nature.”
Other songs on the album have more direct origins. “I came up with the idea for Everywhere but Here when I was really stressed out,” says Ehninger. “Thoughts were running wild and I couldn’t concentrate on the here and now. I guess that’s a feeling that everybody knows.”
You Cover Yourself is the most recently written song on the CD. “That really picked up the political Zeitgeist,” she explains. “It’s about a person who projects his or her anxiety through anger.”
On the suggestion that her new album combines the minimalist with the complex, she replies,“it’s helpful to hear other people talking about your own music, because you’re so inside of it. It’s hard to explain it yourself.” This new album is the work of an original singer /composer who can mesmerise, surprise and seduce her audiences.
Ian Bild. September 2018
Julia Ehninger - Voice
Jonathan Hofmeister - Piano
Nicolai Amrehn - Double Bass
Jeroen Truyen - Drums
"powerful second album" (Jazzthetik)
"intelligent lyrics" (Jazz'n'More)
"Although 'only' one quartet is at work, there is little comparable in terms of harmonic and rhythmic complexity" (Jazz'n'More)
"confident and ambitious, passionate, melancholic, dreamy." (Musikanisch)
Released on Berthold Records (2019)
Recorded & Mixed by Christian Heck
Mastered by Darius Van Helfteren
Artwork by Travassoss
Photos by Tobias Fröhner