"Landscapes of a Voice" - 1998
There are voices that sound like the canyons between skyscrapers. Others sound like a train embankment or a tree-lined country road. And then others carry a heavy growth like the onion church towers of Bavaria. Some sound like the steppes and others like a hollowed-out primeval forest or a reverberating empty pagoda. It’s a big world. Hilde Kappes sings. She sings as if from opera houses to cabarets to junk yards, from Vienna to New York and as far as Mongolia, accompanying herself on the piano and on less usual instruments like a water bottle, a piece of drain pipe and other found objects.She joyfully plays with associations and clichès. She flirts with the carelessness of parody and the smugness of recognizing well-known sounds, to finally arrive at her own unique, lonely street.
Hilde Kappes is a sensational virtuoso, singing in many tongues. She is constantly expanding her range of styles, as if she absorbed all variety of singing techniques. A fitting comparison just doesn’t exist.
Let me introduce her: born in 1964 on the Moselle River, sang as a child in the church choir and started playing the piano, later studied music-education in Vienna, performed lieder evenings and sang in various jazz and improvisational groups. Her first success was in Berlin in the 90‘s with a solo program which could not be forced into any existing category.
Her first CD appeared in 1994 and her second, this one, in the spring of 1998. Since starting down her musical road, Hilde Kappes has been using her own made-up language in order to give her songs a geographical point of reference without the emotional baggage necessarily accompanying real words. Her "Schortuanisch" is flexible, it can sound like different languages, like the French of chansons, the Chinese of the opera, or the Russian of musicals, but it can also take on a totally different character. She has recently started using a second made-up language, the soft and round "Gelaganisch", which inspires her to hymn-like songs. The important thing is that the sound of her tone poems mix with her diverse voices to create a unified whole. And that’s just what she does.
On "Landscapes of a Voice" she takes the time to create moods and explore them — painting delicate, undramatic landscapes with rolling hills, gently waving grass — an expansive world full of flowing contrasts. A sung panorama of the world in 20 pictures.