Kokon - Ein Schaurig Schönes Schachtelstück - Listening Session
Story online since: 22.02.2011 / 19:22:48
Michael Haas speaking in front of fans from all over the world on the 11th of February 2011 in Vienna.
It was ANGIZIA's first Listening Session for the release of the 6th album KOKON
Before we start, a few words about the album: After "EIN TOTER FäHRT GERN RINGELSPIEL” we had a quite long break, for different reasons. First of all "EIN TOTER FäHRT GERN RINGELSPIEL” was an extremely demanding production, financially as well energetically. We’ve been in 4 studios and had a playing time of 80 minutes. And it was force-rubbing. Some of our musicians had familial changes. So a small break became a long break.
However, especially the South American fans were asking for one or two new tracks on our web page at least. Thus, Emmerich Haimer and I were sitting down composing and soon found out that only 2 tracks are not enough for us. Hence, Irene Denner, Emmerich and I have decided to make a new album. We talked with different labels, but to make sure to keep hold of the reins we finally financed and published it under our own label "Medium Theater”.
About "KOKON" in particular: We've done some things in a different way compared to the last albums. Not in a negative sense. It was always important for us to make something new and to grow. Of course not a completely new style, because we want it to still sound like ANGIZIA. One should be able to tell it's ANGIZIA right after 5 seconds of listening. Especially the way it is sung, shows that this is undoubtedly the case. We wanted to have a shorter CD title. This was our first successful first step in making the new album and we never did it this way before. From one day to the other we said: "we want to make a new album”. I had not written anything at that point yet. Before my first plot, there came up a mood picture - illustrating a stage picture, which also the musicians got in the prose style. This mood picture can also be found in the booklet of the CD. It was incentive enough to compose the first melody curves. We organized the making of the album with quite a rigid working subdivision. Emmerich prepared the large part of the music. I have fully concentrated on the theatrical part and the musical draught. I made sure that the plot fits to the music. I composed only two tracks. We will probably keep the teamwork that way so that plot and music can correlate. This approach has enriched the whole progression very much. "KOKON” is very compact from our point of view.
With a heavy heart, we decided not to use clarinet and accordion this time. Not because we don't have musicians for these instruments. We wanted the play to sound serious because it was clear that "KOKON” is a drama and clarinet and accordion are not suitable in this context. But next time -with pleasure again. (Laughter)
We have new musicians, a new pianist, new instruments, too. And we have had the nicest studio time of the entire 15 years of ANGIZIA because everything was simply perfect. We have recorded in the studio of pianists Mario Endlich (Applause) and we noticed that it is the optimum studio environment for ANGIZIA. Mario exactly knew what we wanted and is skilled with extraordinary musical understanding. He knows exactly how ANGIZIA works. It was a real pleasure to work together. ANGIZIA will be recording there again in the future. (Applause)
We also wanted to record some sequences live: Piano, vocals and cello. This is for dynamics because we've been recording all together. And we wanted to have the feeling that there is no chance to correct anything afterwards. So there was this touch of immediateness. It is also exciting to have live sequences mixed with fussy over taped studio recordings. We had 2 very intensive days in a very nice ambience, modern building and great stage. This really paid off and we will probably do it this way again.
Briefly about the piece: "KOKON" is a drama and nothing else. (Laughter)
I remember when we had been at Napalm Records – it was always hard to describe ANGIZIA. ANGIZIA isn't a drama, but the play "KOKON” is a drama. This is also different from "39 Jahre für den Leierkastenmann”. This time we didn't want to have this interplay of humor and tragedy. We wanted to remain solely dramatic. So that's why we selected a dramatic, lugubrious cello and a melancholic, bizarre viola. – no clarinet and no accordion – but in exchange a piano and a contra guitar.
"KOKON” is a reduced play with 3 important characters. There is the HOMUNCULUS, a creature caught in the cocoon dangling from the ceiling. I did not want to explain intentionally how that happened. (Laughter) The metamorphosis of Kafka has generally nothing to do with the cocoon. They both are just astonished, why they are so ugly. (Laughter) The protagonist is the creature himself which is more an antihero at the beginning of the piece and cannot intervene at all in the events. He just drifts.
There are FRAU and HERR JANSEN. FRAU JANSEN is a spinstress, very grotesque. She spins a web round the HOMUNCULUS with silk threads and moreover feeds him with poison. Further, he is gagged and slime is dripping from the ceiling. So everything distressing has been interpreted into this character. If you completely listen to the CD, you know why. There is also HERR JANSEN, a captain who carries a soldier's uniform and is very scanty. Everything HERR JANSEN says is of infinite intensity. He has a gun which is also a key for the dramaturgy of the plot. The musicians take the minor parts. There is the BOHEMIAN with contra guitar and a drake - also very interesting is for the plot – you'll see why. Nevertheless, the drama floats above all. I even wanted the stage to be visible. And this is the box of unknown dimension. The box is the stage without redundant things, no colors, everything monochrome and the focus is directed upon the central figure.