Der Horspiegel Magazine Interview~ Jo Gabriel 2005


“Translations into Magic”Ein Hörspiegel-Interview / © 2005 Der Hörspiegel 
( Cover, Fotos und Einleitung © Kalinkaland Records)


Wisconsin, mitten im Herzen von Amerika; am Starkweather Creek lebt Jo Gabriel. In dieser Abgeschiedenheit schreibt sie Ihre Lieder, lässt sich inspirieren und sinnt über ihr Leben. Und es sind stets die dunklen Seiten der Stimmungen, die mystisch taumelnden Momente, die Jo Gabriels Rückzug in die Abgescheidenheit beeinflussen. Mit Island kreierte sie nahezu im Alleingang ein beschwörend reizendes, piano-orientiertes Album, bei dem jeder Klavierton einem Regentropfen gleicht, jede Textzeile einem Erinnerungsalbum zu entspringen scheint und feminine Eigenheiten in Musik verwandelt werden. Text: © Kalinkaland RecordsHerzlich Willkommen zu einem Interview des Hörspiegels mit Jo Gabriel. 

Nico (Der Hörspiegel): Dear Jo, I hope you’re doing fine.

Jo Gabriel: I am wonderful thank you so much Nico and Hoerspiegel for talking with me. 

With your latest album you bring a magical mood, a very special  enchantment to Europe. What is „Island“ all about?

What a wonderful thing to say about my work. I do feel often with my creative process that for me it is very much like conjuring. And I appreciate Europeans very much for their openess to embrace such things as this. 

“Island“will probably be many different things to different people. Like water into vapor, people might experience different elements or aspects of the same song. I definitely imbued the music with a sense of  alienation and longing at times, But also there is hope and compulsion for love and connectedness.

My work has always had themes that are very ubiquitous and sublime.They are threaded with multiple meanings simultaneously. So their are often contrasting emotions in one song. As with much of my work, Island uses the many archetypal influences rather than literal story telling.I think we are all walking archetypes or living out some mythologies in our waking life. I use symbolism and poetry to reflect a mood or feeling.

And as long as it creates a versceral reaction in the listener, i would prefer the theme of the album be explored from the individual’s “outside in“  rather than me telling them what to think or feel about the words or music. It is very personal for me and i hope will become very personal for my audience. 
With Island there are obvious sentiments that are bitter honest, mysterious, rebellious self –revelatory and transformative. Maybe that’s what translates into the magic you so graciously bestowed on my music.

How come you found your label in the German Kalinkaland?

I think we found each other. 
I stumbled upon the incredible band Chandeen while doing an interview with Musical Discoveries. I  had decided to reach out to Harald Lowy just to let him know how moved I was by Chandeen’s beautifully haunting music. 
We started to correspond with each other, and he  asked me to send him some of my work. 
The next thing I know, i am being asked if i would like to join the great label of Kalinkaland. 
Well of course i didn’t have to even think about what an honor it was to be considered one of the  artists on this label. I am in unbelievable company there. I am so proud to be a part of Kalinkaland. And you know it’s so amazing that all the years I walked obscurities path here in the US struggling to be recognized by an industry that doesn’t often embrace the artistic unless it potentially brings them huge financial gain. Labels like Kalinkaland in Europe and a good deal of Indie labels here in the US such as Projekt Records are more concerned about the quality of the music and their artist’s vision, so that they can populate The Welt,  our world with authentic imagination and individual vision that is allowed to flourish and thrive. 
This was an incredible opportunity for me to reach out to a wider audience and for that i am eternally grateful.

Who is – in your eyes – the best composer or songwirter ever?

You know, i can never just have one idea of what is the absolute greatest, because there is so much magic and genius out in the ether to experience. But i will make this simple and draw from my initial reaction, because she is primarily the one  person who can spellbound me and alter my consciousness every time i listen to her. Of course i speak of the otherworldly Kate Bush. Every aspect of Kates unique vision and theatrical presence is like nothing else in this world.

What was the best live concert you have ever visited yourself as a guest?

Hmm. I don’t go to concerts very often, and so it is hard for me to say that one in particular left an impression. Although i absolutely love to go to the Opera.

In your own words: What is the best song on „Island“ and why?

Well, I think that Little Birds has some of my favorite lyrics in terms of the descriptive nature of the words. Little Birds is also one of my favorite songs to perform live. It has a lot of intensity to it.

And also I feel very close to Wash Away. To me it has a very sacred emotional fluttering to it. I couldn’t say if either were the best. Yet  that they resonate with me on a deeply personal level. You know, all the songs do. I really can’t say which i think is best. But i will say that I think Wash Away has the most universally collective call for reaching out, and so i think that on the album, this is a song that everyone can feel invested in. That sense of rescue and recognition from desolation, devistation and the madness, sense of helplessness and fever that is especially plaguing the world today, because of the socio/political climate. Particularly here in the US for many of us that feel betrayed and horrified by this current government’s policies and fanatical beliefs which are not any where near representitive of the whole entire country. The deconstructing of true freedom and human dignity is profoundly lost to us right now.And it effects me and all americans and the rest of the world. And this frightens me and compels me to feel that perhaps Wash Away is particularly relevant.

„Island“ is dominated by the sound of the piano. What instrument would you prefere to compose music with, if nobody had invented the piano or anything like that by now?

I would love to play the cello. This instrument is so passionate and soul stirring to me. This would be what i would choose to conjure with next.

How about your musical future? Do you have any plans yet?

I plan on going out to do some live shows to promote Island and re connect with my audience here in the states. 
And very important to me  ,I want to come to Germany and perform. I am working on finding the means to do that right now. I hope that the magic lingers there long enough for me to come and mesmerize you still, once i arrive.

And i have a few projects that i would like to release down the road. Primarily instrumental neo-classical oriented albums that i am so in love with and desperately want to share with the world.

Also i really want to score some film. Perhaps this wider recognition will generate some opportunities to do that. It would be another incredible blessing for me, to work in that medium.

Thank you very much for taking the time, and keep on making beautiful music. Wanna send one last message to our readers?

I would like to say that i truly appreciate you for giving me the chance to reach out. That i am grateful to all of you who are moved by my music. I hope it effects you in all the right places. And that more people will come and listen in the future. I wish you all such peace , joy and emergence. Thank you so much…

Blessed be 
– Jo Gabriel

 (Nico Steckelberg, © 2005 Der Hörspiegel ) 


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