Sommerhus | Empty Day

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Empty Day

by Sommerhus

Intimate, acoustic and ambient chamber pop with classical themes based on the gorgeously shaped poems by Joz Knoop.
Genre: Pop: Chamber Pop
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1. Empty Day
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Sommerhus presents: ‘Empty Day’, a multimedia Gesamtkunstwerk of music, poetry and visuals. This is the second Sommerhus song created from a jozzonet by poet Joz Knoop, its release will be accompanied by video-artwork created by visual artist Edwin Willemen.

Sommerhus is the Rotterdam-based duo of singer-songwriter and guitarist Vera Jessen-Juhrend and the classicly-trained double bass player and singer Peter Jessen. Combining elements of acoustic pop, classical music and avant-garde, they’ve created their own unique sound in which intimacy and tranquility share the leading role with melody and finely-tuned vocal harmonies. They have performed material from both their eponymous debut album Sommerhus (2013) and its successor Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Love? (2016) in clubs, theatres and living rooms from the Netherlands to Denmark to south-east Africa.

The duo met Rotterdammer Joz Knoop at a music and poetry event where both were performing. They became fascinated by Knoop’s jozzonets, in which both halves of the poem mirror one another on either side of the middle line, each poem ending as it began. The poet has published several jozzonet collections, winning various poetry prizes for his efforts.

Joint performances ensued, with Jessen and Jessen-Juhrend challenging themselves to adopt new perspectives on song structure by setting Knoop’s poems to music as they were, with no changes whatsoever to the form. Without reverting to the classic verse-refrain song structure, Sommerhus has instead created a kind of melodic ‘sound-poetry’ to complement the poet’s words. The resulting five recordings use layered soundscapes of acoustic guitar, bowed double bass, electronic effects and interwoven vocal melodies to bring the jozzonets to life, both translated into English and in their native Dutch; a first for the duo.

With two albums, a modern-day arrangement of well-known opera L’Orfeo featuring their own original music for the Rotterdam Operadagen of 2015 and a concert series with the songs of the Everly Brothers to their name, Sommerhus has embarked on yet another adventure with the addition of the musical jozzonets to their repertoire. Following ‘Pact of Steel’, the remaining four songs will also be released, each accompanied by a video created by a different artist or filmmaker.

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