Caroline Leisegang releases ‘A Series of Moments’
South African classical sensation Caroline Leisegang released a new alum called ‘A Series of Moments’. The new album is a re-release of her 2015 album ‘Øyeblikk’, but with a twist. This release features performer William Earl. Together they produced a profoundly different sound. Earl created a beautiful space in the music that was never captured before and has taken the pieces to another level. The album also features two new pieces, ‘Midnat II’ and ‘Karusell II’.
I caught up with Caroline to talk about her new release, the work she put into it, and her plans for the future:
Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions! You’ve just released a new album – congrats! Tell me about the process of putting this new work together?
Thank you! It was a bit of a “should I – shouldn’t I”. I wanted to revisit the pieces from ‘Øyeblikk’ in the sense of a performer/composer collaborative effort. The actual process was easy; the pieces were already written – all I needed was to workshop ideas with Will and figure out how we’d ever get to record and release during lockdown. Eventually, everything fell into place when the levels went down and we could record at home.
This is a rework of your previous album released in 2015. Why did you decide to re-release it?
I wanted to explore the work. I wanted to see what could come out of the music once I’d given complete autonomy to Will to dive into the music and see what he could bring out rather than just play note for note and all the dynamic markings. For me – as body of music – it’s one of those that I’d like to always revisit throughout life and explore the potential of it. The next time it is released, it will be a recording of myself performing. So far, it’s journey has taken it through a session pianist, this collaboration with William and then it’s conclusion with me. I also wanted to record this work on my Steinway, and make it something different and part of my sound, which I now identify my piano as.
Tell me about the collaboration with William on this album.
I worked with Masters student, William Earl. He contributed everything to this album and it wouldn’t be what it is without him. He tools the scores and created something truly special with the music. He created space and grace in scores that leave very little room for it. He has an amazing understanding of notation and the classical score and the piano. And with this, he has created ‘A Series of Moments’. He’s reinvented the sound. He has explored my Steinway and the nuanced tone. He has brought it to life.
There are also two new songs on the album. Tell me about writing these two new offerings?
Funnily enough, I wrote the two new pieces the morning before I met with Will for the first time. I had this idea of exploring my favourite ideas from two of the original pieces ‘Karusell’ and ‘Midnat’. I wrote these two new ones with no idea how they’d translate and I was quite nervous, but once I’d heard what Will had done with them, I was in awe.
Why did you decide on a different name for the release and what does the title mean to you?
I wanted to separate this album from ‘Øyeblikk’. I wanted it to be able to stand completely on its own, which I think it really does.
What do you hope people will take from this new release?
I hope for much the same as every album I release. I want people to make the music their own. I want it to become moments that they experience.
And how have you, as an artist, experienced this year and the lockdown so far?
This year has been a whirlwind. I was pregnant for most of lockdown and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. So, lockdown has been something positive for me. I’ve managed to stay healthy and make music and give life and stay in one piece, all of which I’m incredibly grateful for.
That’s amazing and congratulations! Finally, what are you planning for the rest of the year?
I honestly don’t know. I’ve had so many grand plans and the year is almost over. I think I’d like to find time to record my next body of music and work on that, but I’d also like to take it easy.
The album was recorded by Jaco Naude, produced by Caroline herself, mixed by Jacques Du Plessis from High Sea Studios and mastered by Jacob Van Der Westhuizen.