Part Two - Hilde Hefte! Egil Kapstad...and not stealing the singers notes!

Jan.s: Your partner, accomplished pianist/composer Egil Kapstad provides a solid and seamless basis for your vocals. His arrangements/orchestrations support the nuances of your voice.  Tell me about the process you both might enter into preceding a recording or occasion, for example the Prague recordings.

Hilde: Egil is a word freak himself and he never writes a music arrangement until he’s read the lyrics. And after he has read it he’s focusing on telling the same story as the singer; both in the arrangement, his own fills etc.

About the Prague-recording: First I had to find the songs, and then the right keys. The key is not only the key I feel is right for my voice, but it’s a question about color.

Every key has its own color and I always have to find the right one for the story I want to tell from the lyrics. When that is done Egil starts to work with the arrangement, instrumentation and orchestration.

He’s not afraid of telling a plain, a complex or a straight ahead love-story so if it’s supposed to be “sweet” he’s not afraid of doing that. He’s also very aware of not stealing the singers’ notes. Like he’s saying: “Singers have one note, a pianist can place several at the same time, so why steal the only one the singer’s got?”

By doing this he’s also lifting the singer, making her/him more interesting because he’s lifting the singer by giving her/him space and leave her/his notes alone and give other colors by the notes he’s picking.

So when I’ve done my piece and he’s written a sketch or an opening we’ll test this out on the piano. I’m singing, he’s playing and explaining - and sometimes we play four-handed piano while I’m singing so we’re able to hear with our own ears that we’re on the right track. And while he was writing I did all the practical things just so we were able to focus on the important things when we arrived in Prague.

We didn’t have much studio time and the record was going to be recorded live at the studio, so everything had to be prepared for it to run smoothly. And it’s so very important to feel ok and being able to focus on good music, wonderful people and ensemble-work so we tried to prepare it well, down to the tiniest thing. ~~~~~~~ To be continued!

Jan.s:  Thanks so much Hilde!


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