Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-09-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Tori Amos: Classical music and her gay fans
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2011-11-16

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Singer/songwriter Tori Amos gained fame from the piano and such songs as "Crucify" and "A Sorta Fairytale." She has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards and continues to develop groundbreaking music. Performing in bars since she was 13, her live shows over the years have been something not to miss and luckily she hits the road again this fall.

Windy City Times: Hi, Tori. I just listened to your new album, Night of Hunters. What inspired this project?

Tori Amos: Deutsche Grammophon approached me. They are the classical side of Universal Music. Their doctor of musicology, Doctor Alexander Berg, found me out in the world about a year ago. He said, "I think you should write a 21st-century song cycle based on classical themes." I said, "I think I need a drink!"

WCT: [Laughs] Of course, that is a big undertaking.

TA: Come on, Jerry. That is a tall order.

WCT: Huge…

TA: It was huge, very challenging. It was throw-shit time at times. When you start working with the master's works it is very difficult stuff. I knew enough going to Peabody [Institute of the Johns Hopkins University] as a kid it is not fucking one-four-five-one chord progression. It is really complicated.

These are cathedrals because you are talking about sonic structures. It is not like little beach houses that are cute. You are building big stuff sonically. I have a pretty good career and doing something like this could really screw it up. But when do pop songwriters get an opportunity to do this with Deutsche Grammophon? I should be thankful! [Laughs]

WCT: Was there a composer who you connected with personally?

TA: Yes, all the ones that made it on were the big ones but I would say that the Schubert piece "Star Whisperer"—the variation of his sonata—was really the key that unlocked it all for me. I always loved the fact that he was probably one of the first songwriters. He wrote, like, 700 songs on top of all of the big works that he did. I knew I didn't want to touch his songwriting material. I wanted to do something that wasn't in that form. I told Doctor Berg not to send me songs that I wanted to make variations on songs that were not in a song form. I wanted him to send me a lot of music because all I knew were the recital pieces that I played in the past.

WCT: As far as classical music, I am a big fan of Franz Liszt, with his piano range.

TA: He came very close and was in the last running! He was with me the whole time and I kind of looked at him and said, "Maybe part two…"

WCT: I will have to wait for that.

TA: Well, yeah if it ever happens. Truly, he was there guiding me through the whole thing, showing me things. That might sound crazy but there were composers whose energy was there in the trenches of this project.

WCT: I told your old buddy Rufus Wainwright that he reminded me of Franz.

TA: I bet he loved that. Franz Liszt was a ladies man.

WCT: Franz was also dramatic.

TA: Yes, very dramatic.

WCT: Describe the various voices on the record.

TA: Okay there are characters on this. Annabelle is the shape-shifting creature and the story is set in Ireland. Tori meets Annabelle on the second song. She shows her things that happened even from a past life. It is really going into the myth of Ireland itself back in time with a lover.

Annabelle works as a representation of nature, as all good song cycles. It affects the protagonist in a way that gets them to see another part of their life that they are not able to see. Annabelle is played by Natashya who is ten and my daughter.

WCT: Talent runs in the family.

TA: She has been accepted into the Sylvia Young School in London. She has been acting at Stagecoach for over three years. I have seen her in productions and she has a real comedic side. She has all kinds of accents and is a certain type of actor. Even though she is a child I knew she could play timeless. Getting a child to say some of the things that Annabelle says is tough, especially singing in pitch and rhythm wise. I knew what Tashya's gifts are I can design Annabelle around her. That was the trick.

With Annabelle I needed to develop the maiden side of the triple goddess because it is Irish mythology. I thought, "Let's bring nature as a child."

WCT: There is another voice, also.

TA: Yes, the fire muse that is in "Night of Hunters." That is played by Kelsey, my niece. Both my daughter and her were on Midwinter Graces so I have worked with them before.

WCT: It's a family affair. What is your live show going to be like this time out?

TA: The live show is with a string quartet who played on the record. There is a quartet of woodwinds as well so an octet. Many work in symphonies so we could only take the quartet out. So we rearranged some of the catalogue for string quartet and piano.

WCT: How do you decide on a set list with this many albums?

TA: Well, the first thing is building the repertoire. Since mine is so big I can really change the shows up. When I hit the American leg we will have the biggest repertoire since we will have more time. I always rehearse at sound check. That is when you work material up.

My sound checks are usually two hours and mandatory for everybody. That is why my live show always gets a reputation because we are always adding new songs in. For September we had to make some pretty tough choices about what gets in the first group. It is not because they are favorites from the catalogue but we have to do ones with a full string section. We will have some that have never had a string arrangement be arranged a piano part that I play.

WCT: I can't believe your album Little Earthquakes will have its 20th anniversary next year.

TA: Crazy, huh?

WCT: Are you doing anything special for it?

TA: Actually I am. I recorded recently with the Metropolitan Dutch Orchestra. The whole 20 years have been rearranged for them. They are a 54-piece orchestra. That was really fun singing songs from the records all together with a full orchestral approach.

WCT: You are so appreciative to your fans. Anything special you want to say to your gay fans?

TA: They have to get involved in this next election. We can't sleep through this one. It is scary times. I know a lot of creative friends, whatever their sexuality, gay, straight, bi, whatever it is, sometimes think it will work out but maybe not this time. We have to be awake and watchful. We all need to vote. We can't just not participate because decisions are being made for our world that we maybe cannot live with. I am just lighting a nice fire, not an awful one. You can roast marshmallows at it. You can sing Kumbaya if you want but get out and vote. I am not being MTV Rock the Vote. I am being much more pragmatic about it and almost threatening. If those of us want to see the world in a more accepting way and don't participate then our world may not look the way we want it to in five years time.

WCT: That is a good point.

TA: The gay coalition is big enough now to make a dent. We don't want to wake up to a world where everyone is as open minded as we all are. It won't be that easy to change later. Once they put laws in different states it is hard to turn it around. The younger generation looks around and thinks what can they do but it can get so much worse! We need a fire in our belly. Our world could change in a way that is creative or destructive to freedom thinking people.

WCT: Your fundraiser, RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), has been a continuing project.

TA: The latest has been to make it Spanish-speaking as well. The good news is there is a lot of passion for that but the bad news is that it is necessary. RAINN is a charity that is needed. With all this technology and accomplishments even in the 21st century, unfortunately, there is still a lot of sexual violence out there. The latest is to propel a Spanish-speaking hotline.

WCT: Since you will be here in December, are you performing anything from your Midwinter Graces album?

TA: It is in the group to be made for the string quartet, yes.

For information on the tour and purchasing the album visit www.toriamos.com . Tickets are on sale now for the Dec. 10 show at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Riot Fest melts faces in the park 2017-09-20
Lavender Country in Chicago Sept. 26 2017-09-20
Showbiz news: 'Will & Grace,' drag show, Mario Lopez, Rosie's ex dies 2017-09-20
Reeling LGBTQ film festival kicks off Sept. 21 at Music Box Theatre 2017-09-18
Sam Smith premieres video for new single "Too Good At Goodbyes" 2017-09-18
THEATER REVIEW Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical 2017-09-17
The Annoyance Theatre to premiere LGBTQ baseball musical comedy "Striking Out" 2017-09-15
Mirza movie to debut Sept. 28 at Music Box 2017-09-13
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Alison Moyet and her 'Other' self 2017-09-13
Sept. 16 Guaranteed Rate Field anti-violence music fest suddenly canceled 2017-09-13
Showbiz news: Todrick Hall, Ellen Page, Jake Gyllenhaal, immigration projects 2017-09-13
CGMC's 'Rock Bottom' cabaret shows in Sept. 2017-09-13
A Chance appearance 2017-09-13
Elton John AIDS Foundation to commemorate 25th year, honor founder 2017-09-12
BENT NIGHTS Absolutely Not; The Black and Brown Festival 2017-09-06
NUNN ON ONE Betty Thomas: Actress/director returns to Chicago 2017-09-06
Artemis Singers members reflect on their many years with the chorus 2017-09-06
Artemis Singers: Deep roots in Chicago's lesbian community 2017-09-06
TELEVISION Vicki Gunvalson, Kelly Dodd serve some reali-tea 2017-09-05
CONCERT REVIEW Depeche Mode haunts stage with 'Spirit' tour 2017-09-05
Showbiz: Reese Witherspoon, Tyra Sanchez, Aaron Rodgers, Whitney Houston 2017-09-05
Billy Porter releases "Carefully Taught The Remixes" 2017-09-05
Chicago Gay Men's Chorus to present Hitting Rock Bottom: KnoW Hope 2017-09-05
MOVIES Alt-wrong: Bridget Evertett breaks through 2017-08-30
Mirza movie to debut Sept. 28 at Music Box 2017-08-30
CONCERT REVIEW Gaga breaks glass ceiling at Wrigley Field 2017-08-30
Showbiz news: Laverne Cox, Logic, Gloria Estefan, 'Teen Wolf' 2017-08-29
BENT NIGHTS Punk, punk and more punk: Part 1 2017-08-29
Concert benefits LGBTQ refugees 2017-08-27
Lady Gaga's Foundation honors Chicago youth 2017-08-25
Writers Theatre extends the run of Trevor the Musical 2017-08-25
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT LGBTQ military musicals 2017-08-23
THEATER REVIEW Trevor the Musical 2017-08-23
'Fahrenheit' beach party Aug. 27 on South Side 2017-08-23
Benefit concert for Russian violinist Aug. 26 2017-08-23
Lakeside Pride founders reflect on band's anniversary 2017-08-23
"Upstairs: The Musical" remembers gay bar tragedy 2017-08-23
Showbiz news: George Michael, Oprah, Adore Delano, Imagine Dragons 2017-08-23
Fahrenheit Chicago, Pride South on the Lake Announces Entertainment Lineup 2017-08-16
THEATER REVIEW HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical 2017-08-16
 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.