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Antje Duvekot

A Conversation with Antje Duvekot (continued)

PM: I like to notice how records begin and how songs begin. It takes a certain kind of person, for instance, to start a record like you have with a song that's almost six minutes.

AD: Oh, I didn't notice it was that long.

PM: But it doesn't feel that long because "Vertigo" is a really, really a great song. It's a Mark Erelli co-write, right?

AD: Yes, you got it.

PM: It's an arresting image, too, since vertigo is obviously not something that people usually lie about.

AD: [laughs]

PM: "You know I lied about the vertigo" -- it's like, "You what? You lied about the vertigo? Why?"

AD: There's a reason I lied about the vertigo. Because I'm trying to go on the tight rope and--

PM: Yeah. It's a beautiful image, very arresting. About how songs begin, I thought it was interesting that two tunes of yours on that same record respectively begin:  So you've come to this place, and so you've come to this bridge. That's interesting.

AD: Oh, my goodness. That is something I never noticed before.

PM: Oh, good, well, people are noticing stuff about your songs.

AD: Yeah. Because when you write the songs, you probably don't notice things that other people notice because you're not really listening to yourself. It just sort of happens.

PM: Yeah, you're on the right side of the brain.

AD: Yeah.

PM: Yeah, you're on the right side of the brain. And Erelli's vocal sounds so beautiful on that song. In fact, when John Gorka's unmistakable baritone appears a couple of tunes later on "Long Way," to me it made it so clear how a prominent background vocal can contribute to the very nature of a track, or a song; because Erelli's and John Gorka's background vocals really lent a lot to those two songs, don't you think?

AD: I think so. Oh, my God, especially John Gorka, like you said, on the record, I mean, an unmistakable voice, it's so recognizable, yeah. So that was sort of a coming home--

PM: Yeah, I kind of stood right up as soon as he came in, going, "Who's that? Oh, that's Gorka. That's got to be Gorka." I don't personally know [producer] Richard Shindell, I've never had the pleasure. Would you tell us, please, about him. I always hear he's quite an amazing character.

AD: Well, I had loved his music for many years, but I also hadn't met him until about a year ago when I opened a tour for him in Alaska. And so not only did I love his music and I still do, but he also turned out to be a really interesting person. Like he lives in Argentina, and--

PM: Still does, huh?

AD: He still lives in Argentina, yeah. And he's very well-read and politically opinionated. We kind of just got friendly and hit it off in Alaska traveling together. And he also really just sort of took to my music. So he just said, "I'd like to produce your record." And I just sort of knew that that would be the right thing do, because -- even though he's never produced anyone before, he's produced his own records, and they're gorgeous, so--

PM: Right, very good records, yeah.

AD: Yeah, I love his records. Like if you had ask me, "What do you want your record to sound like?"  I would have probably said, "Like Richard Shindell's," even before I met him. That's exactly the sound that I love.

PM: Wow.

AD: And so I was pretty sure I wanted to do that, because of his music, and because he's a great person.

PM: I thought that you guys got a really incredible atmosphere going on in that song "The Bridge."

AD: Oh, thanks.

PM: Do you recall tracking that song? Did a lot of it just come right off the floor, live? Or how did you do that?

AD: Yeah. I mean, actually, all the songs just happened pretty organically, with just the musicians coming up with ideas. And then after the fact, this sort of vibe is created. But I don't know, most of it probably wasn't planned out to sound exactly like that, it just sort of happened.

PM: Right.

AD: I think Richard did certainly know what he was doing when he asked different musicians to play on the tracks. But after that he kind of gave them free reign to just try what they wanted to try. And most of what they tried turned out really good. But it's true, the song just developed its own feel, like it's almost out of people's control. It's pretty interesting.

PM: Yeah. It was the product of chemistry. You can hear it start to develop as the track wears on, going, oh, listen to that, it's getting bigger and deeper, and it's just really beautiful.

AD: Thank you.    continue

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