Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hope There's Someone

I've followed closely the wonderful emergence of Antony Hegarty from the ghostly voice on Lou Reed's The Raven, a version of "Perfect Day," through his rising moments culminating with I am a Bird Now, an elegy to Candy Darling and the lost Downtown New York of the 1980s, and on to his more recent albums, The Crying Light and Swanlights, that explore environmental collapse and an ache for recovery.
Austere though his music and arrangements are -- art pop, sparse opera, and torch songs --they are melodically rich. His unadorned falsetto soars into the cumulus.
The way certain songs become absorbed into the culture is unpredictable and often takes time. At least one of his was a smash on the dance floor, "Blind," the Hercules & Love Affair hit.
Another candidate is "Hope There's Someone."
I found a spirited cabaret version of "Hope There's Someone" peformed by Bertram van Alphen, a Dutch artist i know little about. Covering it below, van Alphen brings a universal reading to what is a such unique, and therefore incomparable, voice; a standard is found amidst dark clouds, howling rain and queer visions.
This rendition is remarkable.
Vocals/Sampler: Bertram van Alphen
Piano: Tom Dicke
Flute: Patricia Biermans
Music/Lyrics: Antony Hegarty

It's a New Year's song; a bedtime prayer for sleep; a lullaby of freedom from the fear of darkness or catastrophe; a call for remembrance, grace, and deliverance.

"So here's hoping i will not drown or paralyze in light
and, godsend, I don't want to go to the seal's watershed."
-- Antony & the Johnsons, 2005.

1 comment:

Bertram said...

A friend of me mentioned this post on your blog. I just read it almost exactly a year after you have posted this. Thank you for your kind and warm remarks about my performance. It is deeply appreciated! Good luck with everything you do!


Bertram van Alphen