CD release March 1st 2020
Label: mode records, New York
Cooperation with BR Studio München, Germany, 2019
Sarah Maria Sun: Voices
Jan Philip Schulze: Piano, Electric Organ
Hubert Steiner: Hawaii-, Jazz-, Acoustic-, Steelstring-Guitars, Banjo, E-Bass
Bernd Oezsevim: Percussion
Axel Nitz: Baritone-Saxophone
Max Renne: Piano
Choir Voices Track 13: Jan Philip Schulze, Brian Brandt, Regina Stärke, Sarah Maria Sun
Arrangements: Max Renne, Sarah Maria Sun
„Killer Insticts“ is, in a manner of speaking, a politically incorrect perpetrators' study. And it is satirizing the new generation of fascist politicians, who swagger about clear enemy images and simple solutions and became a horrible new fashion.
For this purpose, I assembled cynical, black-humorous monologues. The narrators of these monologues are stupid, selfish, spineless, lazy, greedy, corrupt, cold blooded, clever, charismatic, shrewd and charming narcissists, who twist us – just like in real life - around their little fingers. Their recipes for a perfectly successful life are obviously immoral, but we are, nevertheless, inevitably seduced into identifying with these enchanting beasts.
We want to be like them. We want to laugh with them (not be laughed at). Therefore, we live with them in partnership. Or work for them. Or even vote for them. Not much good coming out of this...
Interestingly, such monologues are hard to find in classical music (which is my actual habitat). That's why I decided not to care about genres, boxes or gender questions and only go for the contents, the meat. So now very different composers and librettists shake hands on this album. We have gathered a weird mixture of enormously diverse songs from the classical repertoire and contemporary music, from musical, pop and rock. Moreover, in the original versions it's mostly men speaking, but I am a woman; which creates a peculiarly sweet twist in Leonard Bernstein's „There's a law about men“, which is usually sung by a profound baritone-macho.
Some of our cover versions are supported and co-joined by soundscapes. Like „I put a spell on you“, which is accompanied by various indoctrinated, agitated crowds. Amongst them is the outcry of the German folk after Goebbel's infamous speech „Wollt Ihr den totalen Krieg“ AND german fascists’ demonstrations from 2018, as well as violent quarrels in the Middle East, hundreds of thousands of Catholic believers in Rome, a pop concert’s audience, hysterical people at the stock market and so on...
Orchestral accompaniments were chopped and minced with filters; as in Leonard Bernstein's „There's a law about men“. Or utterly reduced, as in Bernstein's coloratura aria „Glitter and be gay“, which we recorded with only a Banjo as accompaniment in a sort of baroque Wild West version. That way we also bridged it with Tom Wait's „Just the right bullets“, which has Western interludes in it.
The songs’ styles might vary crazily but the album is nevertheless composed as one organism. It’s just like in real life: the seducers come in stunningly varied forms and shapes. But they are all made out of the same dangerous meat.
So, „Killer Instincts“ shall render both first aid if you badly need to laugh or cry or get the hell scared about the human nature. It is also a pleasurable journey in bad people’s shoes. Which might be a (vanishingly small) drop of help to act more conscious and responsible in our „best of all possible worlds”.
Presumably, it is a downright moral album.