Wednesday, May 8, 2013

from the choirgirl hotel

Tori Amos worked with other musicians and worked through her grief to create this dark and gothic exploration. The sessions for 'From the Choirgirl Hotel' were produced by Amos: "I recorded all songs in an old farmhouse in Cornwall, near the south English coast. I needed a different surrounding, because this time I had a different aim. I wanted to integrate the beat, the rhythm into my piano-playing. Until now, I had always recorded the piano and my voice first, and let the instruments find their place around them. There was no interaction ... I liked the feel of the barn, the vibes, and I was persuaded to record this album in an environment where it's a bit easier to work with people, to record. So it was the perfect location...Sometimes the vibes, the feeling, the atmosphere is already there. Sometimes you have to create your own atmosphere, you have to invest time and work to make it happen... I let the rhythm take over, it wasn't really easy because I'm a control freak, but I thought if I want good rhythms then I have to feel them, get caught up in them. This is the first album I recorded with a live percussionist, the first album where there was interaction with other musicians. Usually I recorded the vocals, the piano and the rest of the instruments were somehow placed around it... I wanted to capture a certain atmosphere that was only possible with drums, not with additional drums but with real life drums. I needed the interaction with a drummer. I want to grow, personally and musically, and to grow you have to move on, you have to experiment, otherwise it becomes far too static."

'From the Choirgirl Hotel'  featured Tori Amos on vocals, sample guitar, sample mallet piano, kurzweil, bösendorfer, meletron strings, böse, left hand böse, meletron flute, Danny Snigloo sample, wave, nuns, and carbon vox; Matt Chamberlain on drums, percussion, vibraphone, and silles; Justin Meldal-Johnsen on bass; Steve Caton on acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, Electric Hank and the amazing Echoplex, and Big RRock; with George Porter, Jr. on bass; Stewart Boyle on electric guitar; Al Perkins on pedal steel; with Andy Mental-Wicked-Gray as yeti and programmer. The strings were arranged by John Philip Shenale and played by Sinfonia of London, conducted by David Firman.

Amos reveals: "It started with a very tragic incident. After I finished the 'Boys for Pele' tour, I realized that I was pregnant. I was very happy about it, I was looking forward to becoming a mother, but then I lost the baby. I had a miscarriage and that was really tragic for me. I felt so empty because I had lost a life and so I put everything into the songs and tried to create something else...It was very sad but I'm not afraid of grief, you might cry, you might even cry so much that there are no more tears left inside of you that you feel you've become dry, but still your grief lets you make decisions and lets you grow as a person. Everything depends upon how you handle it, if you accept your grief, your loss and your mourning or if you try to push it away. I think you have to live through it, that's my personal belief, because it has consequences...I lost the baby and I had one thought in my mind, one thought that repeated itself. 'Why can some women be mothers and others can't?' So I started to create something else, I created new songs. I realized that I might be a mother one day, but not anytime soon. The experience was too painful to take that risk again anytime soon. Someday, maybe. At the moment I'm still healing, I'm not whole right now. I'm getting there, but it takes time. For the time being I decided to concentrate on music, to dissolve in music...I think you have to know who you are, get to know the monster that lives in your soul, dive deep into your soul and explore it. I don't want to renounce my dark side. The truth has always held an enormous interest for me. Everything is therapeutic, no matter what you do...My songs are like friends. I have a special relationship with my songs and some of them I always want to have around me. Others are not always so close to me, they're still friends, but I don't need to have them around all the time. But they're still my friends, they're still close to me; they're still my creatures but they need to go on holiday sometimes. I think everything you ever write is influenced by what has happened to you, it doesn't have to be strictly autobiographical. My songs reflect parts of my personality; nobody is just one-dimensional. But I think my spiritual body and my physical body are in tune with each other ... I lived through a never-ending, deep sadness, because of my loss...Each piece became a hiding place, because you just feel emptiness after you've had that spark of new life inside you. Although I lost my child under very painful circumstances, for one short moment I had the ability that taught me to love. That changed me forever...The anger lies in each of us; it just depends on how you deal with it. You have to dive into your own psyche, to find out who lives there. Most of the time, the monster that hides inside you, is the one you let loose on others. I'm not afraid of sadness. Yet even when you cry, until you can't cry anymore, you get to the point where you decide, for example, that you want to play with a drummer. Sadness lets you wear stilettos, sadness lets you dance in the moonlight. She just has dark rims around her eyes...I learned to cherish the wonder of life. Sure, I've always loved life, but never understood the secret of how wonderful it is. This experience has changed me forever. I had joy living again."

'From the Choirgirl Hotel' went to number thirty-one in Switzerland, thirty in France, twenty-six in New Zealand and Sweden, twenty-four in the Netherlands, thirteen in Germany, eleven in Austria, ten in Canada and Ireland, nine in Norway, eight in Australia, six in the UK, five in the US, and number two in Iceland. Amos says: "'From the Choirgirl Hotel' could have numerous different beginnings. We could for example start at the presidential suite and check what she is doing. After a while you meet all girls and receive an image of how and who they are. This time around, I just needed to decide through which door you go first. Then you can explore the hotel just the way you want...Each one is a part of me. Sometimes the girls let me be part of the choir, sometimes I was just their leader. But slowly I got to know the girls. They gave me a lot of joy and hope."


"Black-Dove (January)" 

"Raspberry Swirl"

Tori Amos  Raspberry Swirl by skinandbones

"Jackie's Strength"  

"i i e e e"

"Liquid Diamonds"  

"She's Your Cocaine"  

"Northern Lad"  

"Playboy Mommy" 

"Pandora's Aquarium"

'From the Choirgirl Hotel'

full album:

All songs written and composed by Tori Amos. 

1. "Spark"   4:13
2. "Cruel"   4:07
3. "Black-Dove (January)"   4:38
4. "Raspberry Swirl"   3:58
5. "Jackie's Strength"   4:26
6. "i i e e e"   4:07
7. "Liquid Diamonds"   6:21
8. "She's Your Cocaine"   3:42
9. "Northern Lad"   4:19
10. "Hotel"   5:19
11. "Playboy Mommy"   4:08
12. "Pandora's Aquarium"   4:45
13. "Purple People" (Japanese Edition Bonus Track)


"Purple People"


"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"

"Do It Again"


"Never Seen Blue"

"Beulah Land"

"Merman" from 'No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees'

"Violet's Eyes" unreleased, leaked in 2010

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