„A Labour Of Love“
In her most recent work, singer, composer and researcher Zola Mennenöh, roots deeper in her interest to explore concepts of fluidity, softness and beauty. Meeting at the magic portal between form and the formless, the electro-acoustic Suite „A labour of Love“ offers new openings how we can encounter ourselves with more compassion and love and how that can liberate us to express our true, authentic voices.
„A labour of Love“ is a 60 minute long piece elegantly merging Mennenöh’s various musicals influences and interests going from Hans Abrahamsens „Let me tell you“ to Björks „Utopia“. As in her Debut „Longing for Belonging“ she immersed herself into creating a musical and visual universe of her own. Together with her organic-synthetic Ensemble Zola Mennenöh has created a beautiful and airy minimalistic sonic landscape around her powerful-sensitive voice, oscillating freely between beautiful songs, spoken word and noise instrumentals. Accompanied by a paper sculpture, video installation and white costumes, this project aims to collaborate with visual arts and open, creative physical spaces to create immersive performance experiences – full of beauty, emotionality and sensitivity. Though the music’s identity is delicate as in her Debut „Longing for Belonging“, she roots deeper in her own voice, both as a singer and in her artistic identity as a soloist, using a fuller and more embodied voice quality and grounding in a consequent instrumental frame of voice, strings, keys and electronics.
„A labour of Love“ is also the culmination of a two-and-a-half-year long Artistic Research Project Zola led in Copenhagen, Berlin and Oslo, where she explored the voice as a sound body and a tool of expressions for one’s own identity, developing a unique multidimensional, trans-disciplinary, holistic approach. How is our voice and our story interrelated with our voice? How can we learn to own it and transform it into empowerment and create authentic expression and connection as artist and humans? The exposition is planned to published in 2022 and executed and performed from 2022 on. The Album „A Labour of Love“ will be released in late 2022.
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Zola Mennenöh – Voice/Composition/Electronics
Simon Toldam – Synthesizer/Piano
Pauline Hogstrand – Viola
Ida Nørby – Cello
Nicole Hogstrand – Viola da Gamba
Halvcirkel – Improvising String Quartet
„Longing For Belonging“
Zola’s music touches on pastoral alternative folk, while splashes of classical decoration (such as the yearningly beautiful sea of undulating woodwind at the end of “I Will Always Be Yours, Forever”) and melodic licks borrowed from jazz help illuminate unexpected corners. There is, in abundance, a songwriting sophistication in the mold of PJ Harvey or Beth Orton, a Southern Gothic shadow comparable to Neko Case and Nina Nastasia, and an omnivorous musical awareness that could stand alongside Cat Power’s varied arrangements. Thematically, the album meditates on the search and discovery of personal and emotional unity. “It is an attempt to encounter and ultimately become one’s true self,” Zola writes. The record is largely performed by a core quartet of Zola, Nicole Hogstrand (viola da gamba), Johanna Borchert (prepared piano) and Szymon Pimpon Gąsiorek (drumkit / percussion).
Known – and highly in demand – as a session musician in her native Germany and her adoptive second homes in Denmark and Norway, Zola Mennenöh is a singer, guitarist, flautist and sound artist of huge talent. She has toured the world over, specialising in jazz, improvisation and experimental & avant garde choral music, both as a performer and as composer. It is through this experience and years of honing that Longing for Belonging comes into existence. Her debut solo album is a collection of delicate treasures: graceful, expressive and elegantly poised, exploring the great depth of her abilities as a musician and the cultured poetry of her lyrics.
Zola Mennenöh – Voice/Guitar/Composition
Nicole Hogstrand – Viola da Gamba
Johanna Borchert – Piano/Prepared Piano
Laurits Hyllested – Percussion