of the album ‘Serene’
Pernilla Aidt: ‘Serene’
• 53 minutes • Mild Records MILDCD001
Review in Femina (weekly magazine)
ORIGINAL POWER AND GRACE
“A completely new name has appeared on the music stage Danish Pernilla Aidt, 37, who for many years has made a singer’s career in France and now is releasing a CD in her own country, Denmark (on Mild Records, Cph.).
The title ?Serene? means clarified and mellowed in French, and the word perfectly covers summoning of both original power, warmth and grace. She designs musical pictures of the sea, rain at springtime, the longing, children, and of course love, songs that lift the listener out of every-day-life into a higher sphere. Pernilla, see picture, is educated as a classical singer, but changed into jazz and has now landed in her own soulful and expressive style which really attracts everybody’s attention.”
Femina October 30, 2003, page 53
• “Once during the summer, I came around Pernilla’s homepage and saw that a new album was coming up, and I would download it and listen to examples from it. I thought that it was exciting to follow new trends that were on their way. But I could not really find out what kind of music it was, because it was obviously thoroughly original and did not come close to anything I knew from before. At that time I thought it was difficult to familiarize oneself and figure out her direction. Because usually when you listen... at the same time you will get or imagine pictures, either inner or external pictures. But when I listened to Pernilla’s music, in fact, I saw nothing. I thought that it sounded like something that was being tested, kind of an experiment.
But when I hear it tonight, along with the pictures in the show, I experience a totality. I experience that things melt together even in a very exciting way. It is free and alive. It is maintained through the fact that the pictures are there, and all is mixed together. Things really happens here and now. And that is I mean very exciting, because thus the media melt together. And you are right in the middle of the experience itself, which is fascinating.”
Music teacher Peter Jensen about his experience of the concert in Århus on October 8, 2003
• “An unforgetable experience. (...) Beauty with depth. I still sense how the chills ran far down my spine.”
Quote from an email from a guest at the record reception in Coepnhagen on October 7, 2003
Review in Gaffa Magazine
“Danish Pernilla Aidt has written all the music and all the texts herself. She sits behind the grand piano while she sings on this dreaming and sensibly musical album which automatically leads your thoughts in the direction of Sissel Kirkeby and Enya though these are classes better. Aidt and her supreme unequalled performance on this ambient pop and jazz album are nevertheless exceptional. Because the 37-year old Dane evidently has something to offer. And unequivocally she can draw from her experience. And she has something to say. Therefore one wonders why we in Denmark did not become acquainted with her earlier. Aidt has a long song career behind her in France where she lives. Thus the music chain store FNAC elected her in 1998 as the ‘Jazz Artist of the Year’ after her French début with an album containing jazz standards. Aidt has a classical conservatory education as a singer. She also has an additional education in jazz at Berklee, USA, but her Danish début is neither classical nor jazz. It is hybrid: ambient pop. An album with a series of earcatchers which with a little luck will reach the Danish public in a possibly even very large scale.”
By Ivan Rod
gaffa.dk/anmeldelser October issue, 2003
Review in Djembe Magazine
PERNILLA AIDT: ‘Serene’
Mildrecords mildcd001 Distr: www.coperecords.com
****** 53 minutter
“...A really beautiful debut!”
www.djembe.dk October issue, 2003
Review in Holbæk Amts Venstreblad and Kalundborg Folkeblad
“...Music which is airy and magnificent with built-in sounds of nature...”
“...There is quite a lot of electronic klingklang but this is made soft and smooth due to the presence of real instruments and Pernilla Aidt's voice which is clear and warm at the same time...”
12 September 2003
Article in Århus Stiftstidende
"The French singer from Risskov"
“...All of them her own compositions where a French and North African touch with lively rhythms weaved together with a more douce and cool Nordic tone. It ends out in an atmospheric wholeness which demands that the listener sits down and listens...”
www.stiften.dk/artikel:aid=137847 October 30, 2003
Radio interview in Kulturnyt
Broadcast on P1 and P2, two national radio channels in Denmark
“...Pernilla Aidt serene cd debutant
dr.dk/p2/kultur December 18, 2003
It is a long and windy carreer which has been ahead of Pernilla Aidt's debut album as a soloist, 'Serene'. The calm and serene expression is dominating both the music on the record, the singer herself, AND the weather on the frost-clear, sunny day when Carsten Ortmann met her at the Århus Bay where she grew up...”
Review in Denmark's largest newspaper
“...Beautiful and interesting...”
www.jp.dk November 11, 2003
Feel free to copy from the following two reviews below:
She paints with her music
Pernilla Aidt takes her listeners with her to a world that reaches far beyond limits of sound and words. The music gets under your skin and excites the senses
By Annemette Nyborg Lauritsen
When wars have ravaged, storms have raged, when the world has been laid waste, the sun breaks through again. Like a raindrop, glinting in the sun, reflecting all colours, Pernilla Aidt’s ‘Serene’ brings messages about hope. In a time characterized by hypnotic commercial tunes, it is a relief to be drawn into travelling in Pernilla Aidt’s airy dream universe. ‘Serene’ indicates to me that it is still possible, in 2003, to create such music that delights and excites all the senses of the astonished listener.
It is difficult to explain exactly what it is, but it is as if the music comes very close to you, and I can even feel quite embarrased to find words for what the music brings about in you. Throughout the 11 songs of the CD, Aidt takes her listeners into a world that reaches far beyond sounds and words.
The music is quite unique, but if you have to draw comparisons then the closest would be music by the Danish group Bliss, and the Irish singers Enya and Clannad, while the voice at times has a touch of Icelandic Björk.
The album is produced by the producer-team Klaus Bau Jensen and Sebatian Lilja who, among other projects, are touring in Denmark this autumn with the band Flipside. It is not by chance that Pernilla’s production is ‘Bliss-like’: Klaus Bau Jensen has been one of the main forces in Bliss who published the album ‘Afterlife’ in 2002.
11 MUSICAL PAINTINGS
‘Serene’ has a quiet beginning with soft autumn sounds in ‘Letter To You’. A wishful call, where the characteristic vocal is backed up by sampled strings and a melodious piano, all bound together by soft congas of Jacob Andersen that are mixed with other percussion instruments.
In the second track, ‘Hear My Song’, the strings and Indian tablas lead into a more attentive and clear voice. Slowly the vocal grows more airy and while it fades away, Kasper Tranberg takes the lead on trumpet. A duetto between trumpet and voice rises in mournful absorbtion.
With an introduction of children playing in a schoolyard the mood is easier in the third song ‘L'Aube’, which is the only track in the French language. A simple, catchy song that is accompanied by sampled strings and Spanish guitar. The music is built up slowly with more and more percussion instruments in order to fade out softly with tablas, guitar and vocal.
Disturbingly close to the limit between life and death, ‘Evident Like Breathing’ has an almost spiritual light. One’s heart beat is taken over by the shrill song of the trumpet again merging into the vocal. A picturesque expression where you as a listener has a feeling of having seen a film rather than heard a piece of music.
In ‘Rush of Rain’ the music merges into a faster tempo. Supported by characteristic percussion rhythms Pernilla Aidt produces a mood of hope following rain on a hot summer day.
Traditional Greenlandic drumsong backed up by sounds of wind forms an introduction to the sixth song, ‘Sea Meets Sky’. The verses of the song play with light greyish shades, while in the chorus it opens up with strong colours. Like looking over the sea in the Arctic nature, where, in next no time, a grey sky changes into strong blue, and gleams of sunlight reflect on ice and sea. A song that lingers on. In this way it is highlighted as one of the possible radio hits of the CD.
Remaining by the ocean, ‘Open Sea’ invites us to trust fate and follow one’s heart. A trance-like intersection with Jacob Andersen’s incitative percussion solo, creates the basis for reflection before the message of the song continues and leaves us with the assurance that everybody will be guided on our chosen paths.
No words suffice for the description of ‘Northern Star’ which is definitely the highlight of the CD. Pernilla Aidt’s special and sensitive voice is followed closely by Finn Aidt on the cello and Kasper Tranberg on trumpet, in an expression so strong that you can believe and hope that her dreams will come true when she sings: ‘I only wanted to be that Northern star which never fades away’.
In ‘Face The Sun’ Pernilla Aidt shows the scope of her voice by changing from a dark Hanne Boel-like soul sound into a lighter and easier expression. An optimistic tinge that makes you want to dance in the beams of sunrise while the loudspeakers are filled with a catching joy. A song that definitely has a ‘hit’ potential also. It should be played at full blast.
Before the album ends, a ‘Lullaby’ is played where calmness settles again before Kasper Tranberg’s trumpet gets the final word in the postludium, ‘Hear His Song’ and quietly, colours and tunes fade away.
Pernilla Aidt not only plays, but she paints with her music. Thus each track in this album stands out as a painting, where it is not only melodies that keep singing on, but colours and paintings you remember after having listened to the 11 tracks of the album.
Made from the same material as dreams
“Music is , next to silence, the closest to describe the indescribable...”
With Pernilla Aidt’s first appearance as a songwriter, the album ‘Serene’, we have a musical work which is quite different from what we are accustomed to. By means of colourful songs and sounds, stretching from the earth and up towards the endless sky, it is almost as if Pernilla seeks to discribe the indescribable. It is experimental as well as fascinating music which surely demands the listener’s full attention.
When you have heard the music, you will understand why the CD has been given the name ‘Serene’, meaning a clear and peacefull mind. Within Pernilla’s own special universe we find commitment, sincerity and an open-hearted way of involving and keeping the attention of the listener. Apart from the classical musical intruments such as trumpet, guitar, bass, piano, flute, and percussion, she also makes use of the Indian tabla and the African djembe drums, even biscuit tins. The French music piece, ‘l'Aube’, (all other songs are in English), contains elements of playing children, and in the song ‘Sea Meets Sky’ we encounter Greenlandic Eskimo music.
It is not easy to explain which style the music represents. The CD is a mixture of Pernilla’s personal serenity, elevated calmness and a kind of ambient, new-age-like sound which is melodious, light and spacy. But there are certainly also conspicuous experimental and avantgarde aspects included in the Serene project. Pernilla’s voice has at times more than a touch of Björk in it or maybe is it Björk that has a touch of Pernilla in her voice? Anyway, Pernilla and her voice reveals and uncovers many deep layers within herself as well as her listeners.
Already in the first song of the album ‘Letter To You’ we are confronted with questions of our own life: ‘How are you know? Are you somehow happy with what you have found? Happy where you are?’ And in the song ‘Northern Star’, Pernilla shares a seldom and heartfelt experience with us when, in an almost trance-like and meditative voice, she sings: ‘I have learned that the afterglow of almost too much love lingers on.’
This album is made from the same material as dreams are made of. It reduces stress and gives one an opportunity to follow one’s own dreams.
Padma, July 2003
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Feel free to copy from these two reviews
• More info about ‘Serene’
Posted on July 16, 2003