Natasha Ehrmann „Sot emol“ (Tell Me) on Radio 100,7 , 02. Feb 2022 - 17:00
Sascha Ley: feeling at home in free improvised music
Sascha Ley is one of Luxembourg's best-known artists. ... Free improvisation in music, sound worlds and "sound painting" are genres that Sascha Ley discovered for herself a little later.
On her musical way Sascha Ley developed an awareness for the world of sounds. It developed when she got into contact with free improvised music. Real sound worlds and "sound painting" would have opened a whole new world for the artist, in which she could immerse herself with all her senses.
Music that was and is beyond our musical traditions with harmonies, in which one works "with devices, with sounds, everyday objects," impressed Sascha Ley very much, because one has so much "more stimuli for the brain."
"It's something we're all probably connected to subconsciously from a young age anyway. We can close our eyes and mouth, but we can never close our ears. At most, you can stop something, but purely in terms of physicality, you can't protect yourself from hearing. "
Emotional connection with the human voice
Even as a child, Sascha Ley found it interesting that a sound or a voice could make a person sit up and take notice or even frighten them. Monotonous sounds would have driven her "completely crazy" at an early age:
"People's voices - how they speak, the rhythm, it can either be very pleasant, trusting, so you can fall in love with sounds or voices, or it can be scary. A monotonous sound can scare me. It's interesting what it does to our nervous system and how it affects us."
Sascha Ley's musical work moves between classical and experimental interpretation, between jazz, free improvisation, folklore, and contemporary music.
In India, she began to focus more on her musical path, and at that time decided to go further and explore composing on her own:
"I got an insight into Hindustani vocal music, and also into the way it is taught. I had a one-on-one class in the classical sense - so I was the only student of my teacher, Dhanashree Pandit-Rai. She adapted her lessons to people like me, singers by profession, to train, explain and expand the musical vocabulary. And to use it in the context of the inventiveness of jazz, which traditional teaching would tend to forbid."
Everything depends on a good story
Since the beginning of her career, Sascha Ley has appeared in numerous German, French and English stage, film, and television productions - a wide-ranging repertoire from classical to modern, drama to comedy. As a performer, she has been offered both tragic and comic plays, developing a particular talent for comedy. Sascha Ley is interested in any story that is good:
"If it's thematically coherent, well-written and also the directorial concept is interesting, I think it's nice to play both big emotions and really something funny and have fun with it."
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By the Mierscher Kulturhaus for PAPERCUT 2021/22
1) Sascha, your artistic career goes in various directions: you are an actress, a jazz singer and always looking for new, experimental forms in your music and performance - how do you describe yourself as an artist? Which is the direction of your current research? (Onirisée Project, Impro…)
I would describe myself as a kind of story teller who uses different and altered forms of expression and who likes to read between the lines and to play with perception as well – with both my own and that of the audience – to find open spaces of thought processes, feelings, opinions and habits and possibly turn them upside down in order to experience new considerations. I always try to find a universality that appeals to both the intellect and the senses in order to transmit this. As a passionate observer of the human genius and drama, of creation, art, nature and the world, my creations as well as my life have become a permanent research. This applies to everything that happens around us; in everyday life, as in the life and death process of beings and things. I follow the philosophy of free(dom) space and unrestricted development both as a person and as an artist and wish to communicate with the audience. I compose and improvise with words, sound, video, collages, and I like going beyond rules. My current research is moving in the direction of performance, where mixed forms are ideally complemented. Basically my first dream, the spectacle complet.
2) You play a leading role in Larisa Faber's new piece of papercut. Can you tell us something about your performance already? (Will live music play a role in a soundscape? What sets an accent / focus? ...)
It's a work in progress that we started, together with Marie Theis (stage set & costumes), in May. Music and soundscape have a great influence on the ambiance. We will see in in autumn, what is eventually intended by Larisa, whether created by me or another sound artist. At the moment, Larisa is still writing, and we'll be patient.
3) What interests you about the play and your role? How do you proceed with your preparation?
I'm interested in the aspect of loyalty and the courage to stand up for manigances. I think these themes appeal to me enormously.
4) How is the collaboration between Larisa Faber, Danielle Hoffelt and you going?
The collaboration happens more exactly between the two of them; I think they trust each other very much. And at some point I will join; and then I will trust the process.
5) Papercut is in English. What is it like for you to work and play in English? Does this change anything in dealing with the text or the role?
According to the motto: A good interpretation is always a challenge, the foreign language can also be stimulating because you have to rethink the language. I will try to prepare myself as well as possible for everything before the rehearsals ...
Faber and her cast of Sascha Ley and Andrea Hall create a spellbinding drama that asks universal questions about courage, commitment, ethics, loyalty, patriarchy and the whole rotten system. Delano digital 25.1.22 || read all
When Sascha Ley screams "I was burning inside!", one can more than empathize with the whistleblower's anger, disappointment, inner turmoil and disillusionment. The effervescent dialogues between the two female figures, which later turn out to be two versions of one and the same personality, become an immersive, intense experience. An excellent performance by both actresses. Tageblatt 01/22
(MI FRIDA) Always changing, always new, always surprising. Who is the dancer, who is the singer, who is the actress? The boundaries are blurred. (...) Sometimes there is also a tinge of absurdity. (...) At the end the songs are sad, the fight becomes a dance of death. And yet we see no victim, but both a strong and desperate woman. Even in these terms, the performance is incontestable. Strong. Trierischer Volksfreund (D)
No doubt, Sascha Ley is a genuine multi-talent; after all, she is not just a songwriter, composer and interpreter but works as an actress and a director as well… What remains unchanged, however, is the seductive mood, the poetry of it all, which has become Sascha’s trademark. Le Quotidien (L)
A brilliant actress. Sonntagsnachrichten (D)
The powerful Sascha Ley. Deutschlandfunk (D)
Divine … simply captivating, enchanting, marvelously vulgar and full of magic charisma. Süddeutsche Zeitung (D)
Sascha Ley. … does raise the vocal bar some artists have been limboing under for years. (…) a new way of looking at vocal jazz. Critical Jazz (USA)
Sascha Ley moves between improvisation, as well as regular singing, chanting or pure sound accompanying intonations, being an artist of a rare profile. She works in the fields of music, theater, film and dance, and all on an exceptional level. JazzZeitung (D)
Sascha Ley is and will remain a thoroughbred artist. She has been admired as a fascinating interpreter of songs by Kurt Weill and Georg Kreisler, a femme fatale in [various projects], and is certainly indispensable from Luxembourg’s musical life as a jazz icon. D'Land (L)
Sascha Ley carries a whole universe of voices. Galaxies full of music. Jazz Podium (D)
Sascha Ley has created her own musical identity. Melodiva (D)