Memoleaves in Conversation with Andrea Keller

Andrea Keller Still Night

Still Night: Poetry in Music

Last year we were lucky enough to experience Andrea Keller’s Still Night: Music in Poetry, as part of the Melbourne International Jazz festival. It is a 60 minute song cycle exploring themes of death, dying and grief. Andrea agreed to talk with Memoleaves and share some fascinating insights into her process, and what led her to create this project, you can view here:

Andrea Keller is a multi- award winning pianist and jazz composer

Andrea is really down to earth, thoughtful, humble and generous in her reflections. Her achievements are extensive and include 3 ARIA awards and six Australian Jazz BellAward, one of these for Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album 2018 for Still Night: Music in Poetry. This was the first time she has written music using lyrics. For Still Night she draws on the text of some of the great poets dating back to tenth-century Japanese poems through to Keats, Whitman, Yeats, Proust, Teasdale and contemporary Australian poetry.

Andrea’s attributes her love of poetry to the late drummer Allan Browne who would recite poetry at their regular Monday night gigs at Bennett’s Lane Jazz Club in Melbourne. Her growing love of poetry and own experiences and reflections on death and its personal impact led her to explore these themes through poetry.

Still Night is a true meditation on the beauty and fragility of life as experienced through death. It is an experience that will stay with you. Being in a room full of people willing to immerse themselves in this subject was unique in itself, the music haunting, and the vocals eerily comforting and timeless – something very special.

If you can, go and see it

Keller wrote Still Night: Music in Poetry in 2016. It has only been performed a handful of times. It will be performed at this weekends Port Fairy Spring Folk Festival and later in the year it will have its interstate premier at the Sydney International Woman’s Festival in Sydney on 8th November.  Is also available for purchase on bandcamp.

Still Night: Music in Poetry was orchestrated for and performed by:

Vince Jones (voice)
Gian Slater (voice)
Julien Wilson (tenor saxophone & bass clarinet)
Stephen Magnusson (guitar)
Andrea Keller (piano)

If you are lucky enough to get the chance to see this work, you wont be disappointed.

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