The Waves Are Rising, Dear! Andreas Schaerer & Hildegard Lernt Fliegen
- 1Dripping Point01:42
- 2The Waves Are Rising, Dear!04:20
- 4Symptoms, Causes and Treatments07:25
- 5To Wander Towards05:00
- 6Embraced by the Earth08:05
- 7Numb, at Last02:05
- 9Love Warrior, Part I-IV09:19
Info for The Waves Are Rising, Dear!
Andreas Schaerer’s recent projects have established him at the forefront of the creative jazz scene in Europe. The Berne-based artist’s debut on the label, the revolutionary orchestral work "The Big Wig", a commission from the Lucerne Festival, was followed by a quartet formation with Michael Wollny, Vincent Peirani and Emile Parisien, “Out of Land”, and most recently by an album with another quartet, “A Novel of Anomaly”. This succession of highly contrasting releases have shown that Schaerer is not a jazz singer in any conventional sense: he is a vocal artist capable of imitating almost every instrument or sound with his voice. He covers all kinds of vocal styles from crooning to operatic tenor, and he is able to juxtapose them all in a completely individual way. Now, having lain dormant while Schaerer pursued these other endeavours, the band that first put him on the map, Hildegard Lernt Fliegen (Hildegard learns to fly) is back in business.
Hildegard Lernt Fliegen made a mark outside Switzerland with an appearance at Jazzahead in Bremen in 2012 followed shortly afterwards by winning the BMW World Jazz Award in Munich. Audiences responded enthusiastically to the band’s complex compositions which were always full of surprises and had a way of completely transcending style and genre, and also left plenty of room for improvisation. There was always plenty of irony and humour, plus the opportunity to marvel at Schaerer's solo escapades. Fans of the old ‘Hildegard’ are faced with a very different prospect with the new album “The Waves are Rising, Dear!". As the title of the album suggests, it is a more serious work, a concept album, on which Schaerer has taken the band's characteristic sense of instrumental playfulness, combined it with his own, almost classically clear vocal timbre, produced without any trickery. And he has put both of these elements to the service of poetry and to the task of thinking about things more deeply.
"Our last album with just the band was six years ago, and we have moved on since then,” comments Schaerer, giving the background to the change of approach. “We live in times that are full of possibilities but there are also tensions, and we face big questions and challenges. The confluence of all these external factors has influenced the work of composition, the lyrical content, and music in general as I hear it today." However, the songs do still keep their secrets and Schaerer wants to leave some level of ambiguity in place: "Each piece is based on very specific personal thoughts. But I don't want to comment on them too explicitly, and would rather leave the listener the scope to reach their own interpretation. The album is deliberately conceived in such a way that a listener can bring their own stories. Maybe even their entire life-history can become part of the dramaturgy" says Schaerer.
“The title can be read in a socio-critical way, or philosophically, or metaphorically, or emotionally – or even erotically if one wants." The subject-matter is at its most unambiguous in "Symptoms, Causes And Treatments", with lyrics about freedom and destiny commissioned by Schaerer from UK saxophonist, rapper and versatile thinker Soweto Kinch. "We have known each other for years, I really appreciate his take on things, so I asked him for a text based on questions I sent him about issues that concern me. And I'm very happy with what he came up with."
A completely different high-point of the album is "Embraced By The Earth". Vincent Peirani, the exceptionally fine accordionist and also a friend of Schaerer’s, appears as guest on this track, and the vocalist also sings a moving duet with Jessana Némitz, an extremely promising young Swiss singer. At any event, the range of possibilities for musical expressiveness has grown once again, whether in the neoclassical poise of "Dripping Point" which serves as the introduction to the album, or the title track which has a real spring in its step, or the dramatic "Irrlicht" with its Sprechgesang and devilish wordplay, or the avant-garde miniature "Water". The Waves are Rising, Dear!" is an ambitious, thought-through piece designed to be listened to at one sitting, and it has an overall structure and a dramaturgy that are strong and convincing.
The band plays a more important role than ever. Benedikt Reising’s baritone saxophone and bass clarinet, the saxophones/flute of Mattias Wenger, the trombone and tuba of Andreas Tschopp, the bass of Marco Müller as well as the drums/marimba of Christoph Steiner – all of them have far more space to work with here than previously, and are able to create a compelling and exciting tapestry of sounds on "The Waves are Rising, Dear!". This is a band of virtuoso players who have all established themselves in the European jazz scene with their own projects and bands in recent times. For these musicians, Hildegard Lernt Fliegen, and one can truly hear it, represents a return to their roots, to a source of strength which is built upon firm long-term friendships, and from many years of working together as musical partners. The final track, the four-part "Love Warrior", is the best demonstration of how Hildegard Lernt Fliegen’s past and present have coalesced into one. The band’s new approach – lyrical, pensive and carrying emotional heft – merges with the storminess and the cheerful irony of their earlier years. And one can also hear a message of hope, in which one thing is certain: Hildegard Lernt Fliegen have re-emerged as one of the bands who will be shaping the future course of European jazz.
Andreas Schaerer, voice
Andreas Tschopp, trombone & tuba
Matthias Wenger, alto saxophone (solo on 06), soprano saxophone & flute
Benedikt Reising, baritone saxophone, alto saxophone (solo on 04) & bass clarinet
Marco Müller, bass
Christoph Steiner, drums & marimba
Recorded by Martin Ruch & Christoph Utzinger at Bauer Studios, Ludwigsburg, 10-13 June 2019
Mixed and mastered by Martin Ruch
Produced by Andreas Schaerer & Martin Ruch
was born in Switzerland in 1976.Portrait2_byRetoAndreoli He spent his childhood in the Valais region of the Alps mingling with the sheep, later moving to Bern and the picturesque region of the Emmental. He left to complete the acclaimed teacher-training course at Hofwil.
Schaerer’s musical career began when he was young, using early tape decks to produce compositions such as, ’Duo for Sewing Machine and Harmonica’, before gaining his first stage experience as a teenage guitarist for the renowned punk band of the time, Hector Lives.
In 2000, after two extended trips to South and Central America, Schaerer attended the University of Arts in Bern. For six years he studied singing with Sandy Patton and Denise Bregnard, improvisation with Andy Scherrer and composition with Klaus König, Christian Henking and Frank Sikora.
After graduating he began performing professionally and founded the Bern Jazz Workshop (Jazzwerkstatt Bern) in 2007 with Marc Stucki and Benedikt Reising. This ongoing collective acts as a communication point and promotes artistic exchange.
As a vocalist Schaerer explores a wide range of techniques including raw sprechgesang (an expressionist style between singing and speaking), sound imitation, beat-boxing and scatting right through to operatic coloratura. Today he performs with his own projects: the sextet, Hildegard Learns to Fly (Hildegard Lernt Fliegen) and duos with bassist Bänz Oester, and drummer, Lucas Niggli. He’s part of the quartett „Out Of Land“ with Emile Parisien, Vincent Peirani and Michael Wollny and works with the band „A Novel Of Anomaly“ together with Kalle Kalima, Luciano Biondini and Lucas Niggli.
Schaerer also collaborates with the classical saxophone quartet ARTE and is in a trio with the Viennese musicians Martin Eberle and Peter Rom, as well as playing with The Beet. In 2015 his first symphonic piece „the Big Wig“ was premiered at the LUCERNE FESTIVAL.
Schaerer is a sought-after studio musician and composer, working in diverse genres from jazz and freestyle music through to hip-hop and soundtracks. His concerts and tours take him across Europe, Russia, China, Japan, Egypt, Libanon, Southcorea, Mexico, Canada, Argentine and South Africa.
In 2008, Hildegard Learns to Fly won the prestigious Jazz ZKB prize and became one of the priority jazz acts for the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia. In 2014 they won the BMW World-Jazz Award aswell as the BMW-audience prize. In 2015 Andreas Schaerer was awarded the title of International Vocalist of the Year at the 2015 ECHO Jazz Awards (in the year immediately following Gregory Porter). In 2016 he receives the Music-price of the district of Berne. 2018 he’s awarded with two ECHO Jazz Awards as „Ensemble International“ of the year aswell as „Large Ensemble“
In 2009/10 Schaerer was invited by Bobby McFerrin to contribute to the improvised, wordless opera, ‘Bobble’. As well as performing with Bobby McFerrin, Schaerer has performed with Soweto Kinch, Bänz Oester, Luciano Biondini, Lucas Niggli, Kalle Kalima, Emile Parisien, Vincent Peirani, Michael Wollny, Anton Goudsmit, Barry Guy, Mars Williams, Peter Rom, Martin Eberle, Lucerne Festival Academy, Christy Doran’s New Bag, The Ploctones, Kaspar Ewald’s Exorbitantes Kabinett, Colin Vallon, Elina Duni amongst others.
Since 2010 Schaerer has taught vocal jazz, improvisation and ensemble-playing as part of a lectureship at the University of Arts in Bern.