Johanna Borchert Solo & TRio (EN)

Johanna Borchert_vocals, piano, synths

NEW CD: AMNIOTIC (yellowbird/enja)_Release 03/2022

feat.: Peter Bruun_drums; Simon Toldam_synths; on request: Mika Forsling_electronics

Since her first song album FM Biography, not only jazz and pop magazines have been deeply impressed by Johanna Borchert. The Bayerischer Rundfunk declared the record a “masterpiece of quiet tones” and the Süddeutsche Zeitung heard “a new sound cosmos full of harmoniously balanced contrasts”. Many journalists drew comparisons to Laurie Anderson and Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos and Björk as well as to the late work of Kate Bush.

Now the multi-award-winning song poet, singer and pianist is making an impressive comeback. Borchert’s powerful new album Amniotic positions itself between the genres with a detailed creative will and manifests Borchert’s profile as a self-confident artistic personality. At the centre of the songs and improvisations are her refined playing on the grand piano, rooted in jazz and classical music, and her variable, charismatic voice. Her spectrum ranges from rhythmic whispering lyrics (Amniotic Nectar) to promisingly dark passages and radiant registers.

Amniotic presents intense songs and atmospheric improvisations that sonically revolve around the development of life before, during and immediately after birth. Despite very different lengths, all pieces fascinate with enormous depth. Contemplative to fast tempos as well as sparingly subtle or large-scale arrangements convey predominantly pensive moods. In more epic songs, such as The Mirror and Faster Than Light, Borchert confidently creates wide dramatic arcs. Some melodies, for example Environed In Oblivion, have a subtle confidence. Abstract sounds of the prepared grand piano, rhythmic phrasing and multi-layered electro sounds condense the intensity.

In recent years, Borchert’s dynamic concerts on international stages have been widely acclaimed. After a solo performance, the FAZ praised her “haunting vocals and unconventional grand piano escapades”, as well as her “conceptual determination” and Borchert’s inventiveness in preparing the piano. She will also perform her new pieces live, alone or with top-class accompanists, depending on the occasion. Especially for her solo performances, but not only there, Johanna Borchert promises a high degree of intimacy and multi-faceted improvisations. The free shaping of compositions and ad hoc realisation of emotions are among the fixed points in Borchert’s musical cosmos. Or as she puts it: “Improvisation has always been my great passion.”

Borchert recorded Amniotic in Copenhagen with her favourite musicians there: drummer Peter Bruun (known as the drummer of the Django Bates Trio, also ECM production with Samuel Blaser, collaborations with Marc Ducret and others), keyboardist and electronic musician Simon Toldam (Han Bennink, Marilyn Mazur, Chris Speed, Nils Petter Molvaer, Efterklang and many others) and Mika Forsling, studied jazz guitarist and sound tinkerer. Performances with the band or individual musicians will be “much more colourful, heavy and electronic”, predicts Johanna Borchert.

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