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Sounds | Paulette Verlée - MEM

'Mmm' voor mij in de betekenis van 'heerlijk'! Ik ken de ballen van (neo)klassieke muziek, maar Veerle weet me toch steeds te raken met haar minimalistische composities. Ogen dicht en genieten dus ... lekker lang 'mmmmmmm'.

Les Barricades Mystérieuses (EP) verschijnt op 30 juni 2023 via V2 Records.


Paulette Verlée about 'MEM':

"MEM is the fourth part of the “Troisième leçon de ténèbres pour le mercredi saint”. The title immediately appealed to me. At first I didn't know what this strange word meant. It’s the Hebrew letter of the first word of the original text (the first lamentation of the Old Testament by prophet Jeremiah about the destruction of Babylon) used in the song. MEM is also the only work of Couperin where I consciously borrowed thematic material from the original composition. The beginning and end are based on Couperin's first 8 bars; the middle part is newly composed. Mem stands for the letter 'm'. To me ‘m’ is one of the softest and most meaningful letters of the alphabet. This letter alone can say many things. 'Mmm' can be used to approve or question something; it can sound wailing, comforting or very happy. I think that versatility is reflected in my version MEM."

Paulette Verlée, the alter ego of Veerle Pollet, learned to play the piano at a very young age with the works of Bach and Schumann. For her first album, released last year, it was Erik Satie who formed the starting point.

For her new album 'Les Barricades Mystérieuses' the inspiration came from François Couperin. Under the spell of his “leçons de ténèbres”, she first made her idiosyncratic piano version of “MEM”. Then created new, own work based on his somewhat funny and mysterious titles of his “pièces de clavecin”. The new album has become a refined collection of neoclassical music, with the recognizable touch of Paulette and this time with a musical wink to baroque music.

Not only Paulette was inspired by Couperin's wonderful titles. Painter René Magritte made no less than 2 works bearing the same title, 'Les Barricades Mystérieuses'. As a resident of Jette and great admirer of Magritte, she could not help but refer to him with the artwork of the album.

On stage, the piano is accompanied by well thought-out cello parts performed by Maaike Organe. This time the video footage projected behind them, comes largely from the Berlin film pioneer Walter Ruttmann. His abstract animation films from the 1920s fit in perfectly with Magritte's surrealistic image. juni

With this record, Paulette Verlée delivers a worthy successor to “choses vues à droite et à gauche (sans lunettes)” that received airplay on Radio 1 and Klara. With singles "Reprieve", "For December", "Fine And You" and "Emergency".

Nils Frahm also showed his enthusiasm and included the single 'Reprieve for Piano Solo' in his personal Spotify playlist. Recently, Paulette was in the spotlight with her personal rework of the song “11.10” by Sohnarr (the band around Patricia Vanneste, ex-violinist with Balthazar), alongside artists such as Chantal Acda, Brueder Selke, Justin Lockey and Ansatz Der Maschine.


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