Marieke Koopman – Chapter ONE
“The first time I saw a Big Band perform live I was mesmerized. The energy they released was magical.” Swing jazz has always struck a chord with Marieke. She made a promise to herself then and there: “One day, that will be me, singing with a Swing-band!”
Growing up in a family of professional Baroque musicians, (her father Ton Koopman, an iconic man in Early music, and her mother, a harpsichordist as well as a record label producer) music was and is what Marieke lives for. Classical music was everywhere but she loved JAZZ. Most of all swing-jazz! And she always wondered why this music touched her heart more than baroque music did. Finding out that her grandfather was a jazz-drummer finally brought it home to her.
Marieke Koopman – Chapter ONE, is a modern example of what happens when a woman grows up with a strong musical background and decides to start a journey to develop her own style, finding her own voice. She is never afraid of others opinions, nor to step out of the box. Marieke keeps finding ways of communicating her true emotions through playful rhythmic and melodic interpretations.
“Keeping true to the songs, the composers and to my own feelings, has brought me on a creative journey and a wonderful time that I will never forget.”
Words and emotions lead Marieke every step of her way. The decision of a songwriter to use certain words, has a meaning. But one can say something in a million ways! So how would Marieke say it? She believes when words are that strong, emotion will follow through the melody. This starting point opened the gate for some great discussions. Both lyrically and musically.
This becomes very clear when you listen to ‘Just one of those things’. Marieke wanted to record this fantastic song but soon found out that Cole Porter’s songs have created many discussions over the years. “I just didn’t want to accept that there was only one melodic interpretation.” She could follow the purist-way of performing Cole Porter the way he wrote it, but she felt this meant she wouldn’t stay true to herself. The melody in her heart was too strong to be pushed aside. Marieke went back to the lyrics and let the words take her by the hand. She let go of the original score and started to tell her own story.” And so this fresh but also highly energized version was born.
Daring also, was Marieke’s choice of including all the original verses. “Not using the verse is like telling a story but starting in the middle. These verses have so much power!” The meanings of these songs change when you bring the verse to life.
One of the surprises on this CD is the feature of Ton Koopman on the song ‘Someone to watch over me’. Whilst choosing the songs for her CD, Marieke found many connections with her baroque background. “Both styles have so much in common!” Like the harmonic way in which both jazz pianists and baroque musicians make variations with their chords all the time. She convinced her father to work with her on this song. Which created some challenges. Even though the styles had much in common there was also a big gap between both musical worlds. “It was like creating a new language.” Marieke and Ton only wanted to record the song if they were able to enhance each other’s music. However, with two very strong characters, both equally unafraid to express their opinions, this led to some intense musical discussions. What kind of interpretation, what style of rhythm, would words lead or harmonics, how to start, how to end etc.? Fortunately, several sessions later, they found a great combination of both their musical worlds, which came together in this very personal session recorded in her parental home.
Marieke: “It was very emotional, as if both men (my father and grandfather) were really watching over me!”
Marieke Koopman – Chapter ONE