Iconic Chanteuse and dancer Ute Lemper joins us on Close-Up Culture to discuss her new album, Time Traveller.
Hi Ute, welcome to Close-Up Culture. I believe your journey to make your new album, Time Traveller, began some 23 years ago. What are your memories of writing this songs?
In the year 2000 I had just found new love with my partner Todd and started a new passage in life after a divorce and a few years in shows in the West End and on Broadway. I was touring with my album “Punishing Kiss” and was highly inspired to start writing songs myself. I was filled with ideas, lyrics, poetry and harmonies on my piano. Todd and I recorded the songs on a 16 track analog tape machine in his music studio in Chelsea. 2 years later we had switched to a protools set up and the old tapes disappeared for more than 20 years in the basement… until we discovered them again by coincidence.
Now a lifetime later, still together making and producing music, we had the old tapes carefully digitised and could not believe the originality of the old songs. By touching them up, partly re singing, partly keeping the youthful voice, blending old and new stories, laying a more contemporary sounding groove under it I suddenly found the inspiration to write music again.
The album shows a time warp, a wrinkle in time and a beautiful encounter with our younger selves, but at the end the new songs dominate as they express my more mature contemporary philosophy of life.
What was your journey like to make this album?
I wrote the new as much as the old songs on paper then at the piano, I play some keyboard and sing, then record a first version of the songs. After this core is identified we start producing, inviting musicians to play and programming some elements. I sing many harmony vocals , I love a wall of vocals, harmonised in a cool fashion. I learned to be a protools engineer and can execute edits and mixes myself and I love creating the work from scratch to a perfection. But the emotion of the track rules at the end.
What kind of experience can audiences expect from Time Traveller?
It is a mature adult contemporary poetic journey in a contemporary sound picture. The songs are sung intimately but also express great joy of life in accordance with beautiful thoughts about the quickly passing time.
I understand the opening title track is accompanied by a cutting edge video that uses AI. What can you reveal about this?
I asked a great team in Berlin to experiment with newest technology, so you see me in different ages walking through a hundred years of history in time.
What are your hopes for the album and the impact it has on audiences?
I hope to show that making music and creating new even cutting edge creations continues also for us older generations. We can still come up with something wonderful that can influence the younger generations and my attempt was to build a bridge from yesterday into tomorrow. The songs have a certain sensitivity that speaks of a lived life.