Songs In The Key Of… Berlin

27 November, 2016 in Features, Interviews

Berlin

Germany’s capital city, Berlin. “Music and travel are really connected to me” — Cleo T. Photo: A.Savin/Wikimedia Commons

Soulful songwriting Berliner Cleo T takes us on a musical journey in selecting 10 tracks inspired by the German capital

Welcome to the first in a new series of features, where we ask a songwriter to curate a themed playlist around a topic which is particularly dear to their heart. By selecting 10 songs and providing a commentary on why each one is so inspiring, the featured artist will be able to take us on an interesting musical journey and provide a unique insight into their own frame of reference.

Kicking us off, we have singer-songwriter and Berlin resident Cleo T explaining how ‘zehn Leider’, mixing classical, electronica and Middle Eastern flavours from her home city, have influenced her own blend of music. To watch the whole 10-track playlist in one go, check out the Songwriting YouTube Channel.

LA TRAVIATA OUVERTURE – VERDI
“Opera became recently a true inspiration for me and I had great moments at Deutsches Oper in Berlin. The concept of « Art Total » is very present in german art history and it speaks a lot to me. I tend to mix complementary disciplines and media in my new live show, including poetry, spoken words, visual arts inside the concert.”

BOSPHORUS HIPPIES – RODION
“Rodion produced my album. His work is a beautiful crossroad, between a classical and theatrical approach of music and a research of electro soundscapes and grounded beat. To me a nice metaphor for Berlin’s atmosphere and potential.”

TAKE ME FOR A RIDE – SEA + AIR
“A very beautiful show I saw in Berlin. Like sea, like air, like man and wife, their music is graceful as they are. They mix harpsichord with electronic beats. Inspiring couple.”

DIE BEFINDLICHKEIT DES LANDES – EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN
“Driving through Berlin with Einstürzende Neubauten… Poetry of industrial landscapes… Melancholia of the big cities. Through the night, in black and grey, under the deep eastern sky, beauty lies everywhere.”

BELOBEZVODNOE – THYLACINE
“Keeping the travel, further towards the east. Music and travel are really connected to me, in all senses.”

BELLS – ELYAS KHAN
“A friend, a mentor and one of the most talented artist I know. Elyas Khan is a musician, a storyteller, a shaman, a poet. Berlin is a great Treffpunkt [meaning ‘meeting point’].”

ANGEL’S FRAGMENT – LAURIE ANDERSON
“I love cinema. I get actually a lot more inspired by movies, by books, atmospheres, colours than music. In German, there’s this concept of ‘Stimmung’ where it’s about capturing an instant with all its invisible components. This is a good example of this richness in art.”

AEHAM AHMAD
“Palestinian and Syrian artist, he played piano in the ruins of Damas and lives now in Germany. Music as a path through life. His art is a prayer to peace and to life.”

SOUND AND VISION – DAVID BOWIE
“A symbol of avant garde. A kind of a no man’s land, like the one you certainly had in Berlin between east and west. I like the idea to consider art as a no man’s land, belonging to nobody and to anyone at the same time. A starting point for a travel. David Bowie kept on opening new spaces for everyone to live and dream in.”

BERLIN BERLIN – MARLENE DIETRICH
“What interests me the most in music recently is the moment where music turns into a piece of collective story. I like musics more than musicians. Traditionals, lieder, folklore. Music that tells you the story of the people, of an époque. das ist Berlin, wie’s weint und wie´s lacht.”


Cleo TCleo T delivers an emotional and theatrical pop, mixing acoustic instruments along with electronic beats. Based in Berlin since 2015, the Parisian brings her soulful songwriting to the German capital, working with DJ/producer Rodion. Find out more at cleotmusic.com

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