Skip to main content

CD Release: Clara Ponty's Into the Light (Harmonia Mundi)

From a media release:

From Playing to Singing, Clara Ponty with New Album
Into the Light (Bonus Track Version) (Harmonia Mundi)
Release: April 10, 2012

A flash of insight, and established composer and pianist Clara Ponty decided to take the plunge. She decided to sing songs.

“When I was in school, I was so focused on becoming a virtuoso classical pianist, the next Vladimir Horowitz, even though I always sang in choirs and loved to sing,” Ponty recalls. “Then, one day, I had an inspiring flash.  I really wanted to sing words. I felt for the first time, deep down, that singing was a natural part of my musical evolution.”

Ponty’s glowing voice transforms her signature piano style on Into the Light (Harmonia Mundi; U.S. release: April 10, 2012), a bright tribute to happiness and the authenticity it demands. On hummable tracks—“Like a Dandelion” and “Sunshine” stand out—Ponty brings a gentle energy to upbeat, jazz-inflected pieces. Her voice floats over sunny brass, lively bass, and a distinctively nimble, smart touch on the keys.

Supplementing her complex compositions with catchy melodies and honest lyrics reminiscent of Carole King, Ponty’s work is buoyed by the musical might of top artists from five countries and many genres: pop, jazz, classical, Celtic, West African, and folk. Collaborators include the outspoken, jovial Nigel Kennedy; jazz violin pioneer Jean-Luc Ponty; global experimenter/cellist Vincent Segal; and deep-hearted poet Mike McGurk.

“For me, the real strength in life is to live one’s authentic path and to dare to go into the unknown,” says Ponty. “I’ve learned that it’s this ongoing inner work that leads to happiness, and that gave birth to the music on Into the Light.”

Ponty had used her voice as an instrument on past recordings, but something kept urging her to sing songs, to use words. It promised to add a different dimension to her wide-ranging instrumental pieces, compositions that draw on composers as varied as Debussy and Steve Reich, on classical technique, jazz sensibilities, and even delicate hints of Latin rhythms (as in the gorgeous “Coeur à Coeur” featuring her father Jean-Luc Ponty’s deft violin).

“I was intrigued by the possibilities. The voice can hold a note far longer than the piano can, and you can give a more personal expression to it,” Ponty explains. “This step was very natural and channeled more of my femininity and sensuality.”

To enrich Ponty’s evolving songs, she and producer/engineer Stuart Bruce invited a delightfully international mix of performers to join Ponty in the studio. Ponty flew to Poland to catch Kennedy, who dove into the project with true joie-de-vivre, bringing both classical gravitas and Celtic spark to songs like “The Path” and “Taking Turns.” She reconnected with French cellist Segal, who turned out to be an old college buddy from Ponty’s conservatory days in Los Angeles and who brings his rich tone to the globally-inflected ballad, “Spinning Wheels” and “The Phoenix.” Ponty’s father once again contributed to the album, thoughtfully tuning into the songs and adding his rich, lyrical sound.

"I found my way to break out of the instrumental medium, which is a long and proud family tradition handed down from my father and grandparents,” Ponty notes. “This expanded my mode of musical expression and gave me the joy of finding my own voice."

Images by Kimberley Wright


Popular posts from this blog

Film News - imagineNATIVE Embargo Collective at the Berlin Film Fest

Hot Off the Presses:
(and gosh, doesn't that expression sound quaint these days?)

to have its European Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival 2010
(Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin 11.-21.02.10)

(Toronto, February 3rd, 2010) The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is pleased to announce the official selection of the festival’s Embargo Collective programme for the Forum Expanded section of this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. This programme of works was commissioned by the imagineNATIVE festival for its 10th anniversary and will have its European premiere Monday, February 15th, 8.30pm at Cinema Arsenal 2 and a repeat screening Wednesday, February 17th, 4pm at CinemaxX 6.

Curated by imagineNATIVE’s Artistic Director Danis Goulet, the Embargo Collective is an international group of seven Indigenous artists at the forefront of the changing global landscape of Indigenous cinema. Inspired by Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructi…

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Guitar Rock | Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds Independent: May 31, 2019

Guitar Rock
Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds
Independent: May 31, 2019
Stream/Buy on Bandcamp
Stream it on Spotify

With tight musicians and intriguing lyrics, Happy Freuds delivers high energy guitar rock with stylistic flair on Echo Of Sounds, their debut release. Produced with a minimum of overdubs or fixes, the album consists of a mix of original material, rearrangements of works from others and selected, less known, classic rock.

A kinetic rhythm section is the bones of the music, offering interesting patterns that augment sometimes unexpected harmonic changes. It's brainy rock, in other words, meant for music lovers who can appreciate the quality. Teo's vocals are raspy and expressive, growly when necessary - perfect for the musical mode. Teo also covers lead guitar, adapt at ear worm leads, with a tone that can be clean or dirty as required

Their sound ranges from straight up hard rock in tracks like The Mountain to the pop-flavoured acoustic Background Noise and folky To …