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OpenMag (France)
September 2011

[loosely translated from French by Google translate]

The Night of Tori Amos

by Joss Danjean

Her best friend is her trusty Bösendorfer piano that leads mistress woman the finger and the eye: Tori Amos is back with a new album where she offers classic instrumentions inspired composers of the nineteenth century as Schubert, all on the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label. But far from being dusty, her Night of Hunters looks like a timeless tale, enriched by moult myths and legends.

How did this project come about?

A German musicologist, Dr. Alexander Buhr, managed to get in touch with me through a friend of a friend who works in the world of music. At the time, my contract with Universal in the United States was completed. I was so ready to get into another project: working with the Metropolitan Orchestra and rerecord some of my compositions for a set of fifty instruments. Deutsche Grammophon has told me: we have an idea for your consideration. They gave me a cycle of 24 songs composed in 1827 by Franz Schubert Winterreise entitled. And they added: Have you ever thought about composing a contemporary twenty-first century, but the cycle based on classical themes? It was confusing as a proposal, but extremely interesting and exciting.

You are a great storyteller: what is the story you have been telling us in this new album?

When Deutsche Grammophon approached me, I was in Europe summer tour. I participated in festivals while studying these Schubert songs and I said, in the twenty-first century, what is the subject that matters most? I kept hearing stories of women, some younger, some of my age, but things returned to my ears echoes. There was this woman who worked in the fashion industry who had married in Italy, and when I saw it three months later, it was done when they were together for several years . . . How could he get? How all these events that undermine lives can they take place: "I quit the university, my parents can not pay for my education because they lost their job. "Or" I quit my job because I can not stand "etc.. I then began to think that the changes that happen in life as the sun begins to decline should still leave time for a woman to consider her past to foresee the future. The space of one night, she has the opportunity to confront his demons and problems. It faces the end of his love story and understand things through an overnight trip.

You always choose your words very meticulous and throughout this album you use enough epic terms that refer to mythology and legends. Where did you come from?

Yes, I speak of the Furies, the God of Thunder . . . I read a lot of comments on the mythology and I've realized how ancient myths were important for authors, poets, writers . . . If you do not know not your myths, you do not know your weapons. Also if you are a visual artist, you must be able to know all the colors to choose yours. We do not understand the past without having heard the stories attached to them. If you understand the mythology, then you understand the art and the authors of the time . . . In Ireland, legends and myths were very strong. Culture goddesses prevailed, but when Europe was swept over the islands, they have been supplanted by the God of Thunder. Christianity then of course all eradicated. This project has allowed me to connect these myths studies to better understand the stories of the present.

How did you manage to throw the bridge between classical themes and contemporary pop compositions?

To be honest, it is to build a song as if it were a cathedral. This is a big job. When your starting material was composed by the great masters such as Satie, Schubert, Schumann and Chopin, as a female composer, you feel a lot of pressure because these teachers are men. Women were accepted as author Jane Austen for example, but the great composers are male. If the ten greatest composers is quoted, there will be not a woman! Have this opportunity as a musician, this is something very dangerous because you can not afford to hurt. I think what I've learned through hard work in recent years has allowed me to understand and be able to throw this bridge. But it was not easy! It's almost like a musical! West Side Story, for example, is an amazing score!

How and where did you compose Night Of Hunters?

I wrote a lot on the road. Different cultures, people I meet and I cross country inspire me. Then I returned to Florida, which is like a nest for me as an artist. While Cornwall is where my husband has his own recording studio and my daughter Tash goes to school: this is our family. In Florida, I am facing the ocean before my Bösendorfer piano and then put everything in place. In all, this is a year of work from the grip of the Schubert lieder.

As usual, there is not just a single character in your stories and this woman meets Anabelle . . .

When night falls, things change and we do not see more of the same. Poetry and myths come alive. As a musician, you live in a vacuum and we must make it in the real world. This woman needs to consider its relationship Anabelle otherwise. Who is the hunter and who is the hunted? Anabelle shows a different light. It has no age. It represents the spiritual world and connects this woman with a story she had lived 3000 years ago in Ireland. But the booklet of the album that I wrote says more on this story.

Once again, it is a story of women, men, if you want some?

The fact is that I can not pretend to put myself in the place of a man to tell a story, I do not know their feelings, reactions . . . What can cause the flow of testosterone, I do not know! And yet I love masculinity. I love the smell of a man who leaves his leather motorcycle. I have no idea of ??the sensation that may cause the fact of riding a motorcycle as if she was my mistress. For a musical, I can write for a man because it will be interpreted by man, but when I'm the interpreter, it is impossible.


Criticized over her last albums (because less inspired than her productions of the 90s), Tori Amos is none the less for twenty years an iconic artist to be placed in the same category as Kate Bush and PJ Harvey. Time of an album, it evokes the cathartic journey led by a woman who sees her love story off and finds inner peace. Inspired by Schubert lieder and pieces by Satie and Chopin, she masterfully mixes the classics with inimitable piano playing which she uses as a pop instrument. After the first own songs to surprise the listener, one quickly falls under the spell of the disk before you even realize it. Confusing!

Tori Amos
Night Of Hunters
(Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Jazz)


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