Entrevistas

Interview with Noa


04/06/2019


«Noa» as an acronym for “Not only Achinoam” is not only a singer , it is not only a composer, is an intelligent woman, of her time, an original creator with a beautiful work about Johann Sebastian that is worth following: Letters to Bach.

 
The human condition in all its complexity inspires me greatly. Loss, pain, hunger, the origins of hatred, the power of love, the beauty of nature, the mystery of happiness, unanswered questions ….


































1. Ruth Prieto: Who is Noa (Achinoam Nini) and which characteristic defines you best?

Noa: I am a woman, mother, artist, activist, driven by a huge sense of responsibility and a great amount of love.
 
2. R.P.: What inspires you as an artist and why?

Noa: The human condition in all its complexity inspires me greatly. Loss, pain, hunger, the origins of hatred, the power of love, the beauty of nature, the mystery of happiness, unanswered questions ….

3. R.P.: What are your musical roots (real or imaginary)?

Noa: I was born in Israel to a Jewish, Yemenite-Israeli family and was raised in New York. The first music I heard was in Hebrew, children’s songs, folk songs, and in Yemenite, songs my grandmothers sang to me. At a very young age I discovered the singer-songwriters of the 60s, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and others, they became the most influential musical force of my life. This was joined, later, by an interest in Jazz, Musical Theater (Leonard Bernstein most especially), songwriters like Sting (poetry in pop, I saw as miraculous), and classical music. 

4. R.P.: In this personal "inventory" that we all have of noises, sounds, music and songs, what can you tell us about your soundscape?

Noa: To begin with, the soundscape of my career was molded by my longstanding musical partnership with Gil Dor. 29 years of work. In fact, I have come to seeing “Noa” as an acronym for “Not only Achinoam”. Together Gil and I have created a world of music, driven by curiosity and the pursuit of excellence and originality, alongside research and boundary-breaking. Our original songs are always melodically and harmonically rich, with polyphony being our dominant musical tool. I write music and lyrics, Gil composes as well but his major contribution is in arranging and production, besides playing incredible guitar.

Our music is very diverse, my Yemenite roots are present but not obsessively, I wrote predominantly in English, but Hebrew as well, I play percussion but not always.. :)
Our music seems to defy categorization stubbornly. I far prefer Duke Ellington’s famous quote: “there are two kinds of music, the good kind and all the rest”.
We try to make the good kind. 
 
5. R.P.: ¿What does silence sound like?

Noa: There is no such thing :) for me silence is always full, of beautiful possibilities.
 
6. R.P.: What can tell us about your new album Letters to Bach?

Noa: Were very proud of it. Working with Bach is my protest against Trumpism! When so much of the world seems to be celebrating the most banal, I strive to take music as high as it can go, never losing touch with depth, emotion and impact. 


7. R.P.: Why Bach?

Noa: Bach is the Everest of music. After almost 30 years of career, Gil and I decided to try and scale that wonderful mountain, to see the view! Bach is also the ultimate bridge between cultures and languages, I think it’s impossible not to be awed and inspired by his music, no matter where you come from or how old you are.

8. R.P.: How has it been to revisit this music to put it in the form of songs with contemporary lyrics?
 
Noa: It was a personal challenge for me to write lyrics to these beautiful pieces, and sing them, though they were not written for voice at all. I thoroughly enjoyed the process. I did not settle for any lyric that I thought was not original, interesting, enlightening, joyful, or truly contributing and highlighting Bach’s genius. 

9. R.P.: Can you define contemporary? And, in which way Bach is contemporary?

Noa: Bach was an innovator and an improviser. His music is brilliant and miraculous, almost mysterious and mystical in the incredible way in which he wove melodies and resolved them. Our goal was not to modernize Bach, we did not change a note. We simply sought, through the lyrics, to “invite him to dance” in 2019, and introduce his brilliant music to some very contemporary issues.

10. R.P.: Can a baroque music composed more than 250 years ago be interesting for the current public?

Noa: It is!

11. R.P.: Something more to add…?

Noa: nothing beats a personal, human experience. I invite the readers to seek our concerts and attend them. I promise a beautiful, deep, rich, surprising and deeply joyful experience.
 

About Letters to Bach...

“Letters to Bach” was born from a deep admiration for the genius of Johann Sebastian Bach. Our first encounter with Bach as songwriters was 25 years, when I wrote non-religious lyrics to the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria, and Gil arranged it in a special way, almost like a folk song. This Prayer for Peace became one of our most important songs.
Now, many years later, we dedicate an entire project to JSB, where our major contribution to his amazing music is in the lyrics and the very contemporary ideas presented in them, the fact that I am singing these songs that were not written for voice, and the way I sing them: very accurate and strictly “Bach” but not with the traditional “classical” way of producing the voice.
My singing is more reminiscent of musical theater, scatting and even rap, than opera. I feel these three things create something new, enjoyable and very accessible to people, while at the same time conveying deep and meaningful ideas very relevant to our time and kneeling before the genius if Bach. In addition, in a world full of “fake” everything, where Meritocracy is attacked and quality is devalued, it is my personal rebellion to go as high up as possible, to JSB , the Everest of music, and challenging the listener while at the same time hoping to delight her/him.
 
Bach is also the ultimate bridge between cultures and languages, I think it’s impossible not to be awed and inspired by his music, no matter where you come from or how old you are.









If you would like to listen...




More information about Noa at her website

Photograph by

 
Sistema RSS
© 2019 ElCompositorHabla.com
Todos los derechos reservados
Aviso legal y política de privacidad
Créditos