April brings the record release of my new Piano Album “Himmelsbaum”, composed in Iceland and recorded in the Traumtonstudios, Berlin. Most of the songs were originally written for the film “Seestück” by documentary film maker Volker Koepp. The last two titles were composed for the wonderful oeuvre “A Funeral March for the First Cosmonaut” by Etel Adnan. All piano pieces were created in the cozy wintery isolation of Isafjördur in the West Fjords, surrounded by water and mountains. These extended piano versions of the original film music for “Seestück” tell the story of the healing calm but also the power of water, and specially the oceans. My composition “Seestück” refers to the Swedish filk song “Vem kan segla”. The composition “Im Frühling” refers to the Latvian Liga Songs. “The Sufi in Orbit” as well as “While the sun wept” were recorded in the studios of Deutschlandfunk Kultur and are uncut improvisations. My engineer Thomas Monnerjahn did participate during the recording with his effects and influenced the playing. A wonderful experience. I hope you enjoy the music and some of the magic will touch you:
“In her new album Himmelsbaum Ulrike Haage has brought together nine pieces ruled by a spirit of reduction and concentration. The pianist, composer and sound artist performs her music calmly, with a relaxed, unflustered piano touch, giving it the serenity and space needed to unfold her melodic magic in simple motifs.
Ulrike Haage, who back in 2003 was awarded the Albert-Mangelsdorff-Preis, Germany’s most prestigious jazz award, has long been pursuing her own unique path between the established styles. In much the same monolithic way as, say, Brian Eno, Ryuichi Sakamoto or Arvo Pärt, she stands at the centre of her own musical cosmos.
On Himmelsbaum she now presents an ecological aesthetic of sound, a music of the necessary and of the transparent in which everything that is played makes its mark.” Presstext APR20
“Kraft und Ruhe – das sind die Worte, die einem als erstes einfallen, um diese Musik zu beschreiben. Mit entspanntem, unaufgeregtem Anschlag sitzt Ulrike Haage am Flügel, gibt ihren Noten Raum, damit sie atmen und sich entfalten können. Ihre Kompositionen bleiben immer nah an der Melodie. Sie verzichten auf virtuose Ausschmückungen und aufgesetzte Emotionen. Schon nach wenigen Takten fühlt man sich geborgen unter der Krone dieses Himmelsbaums.” (Carsten Beyer)
Deutschlandradio, Tonart 23APR20