In this, the first Voices from the North interview of 2010, Golden Globe winner Amanda McBroom shares her love and passion for the music and presence of Jacques Brel. Five songs from Chanson, Amanda’s latest CD, recorded in 2009, are featured including I Loved, Song for Old Lovers, Ca Va, Ne Me Quitte Pas (you may know this one as Don’t Leave Me) and If We Only Have Love. We probe gently into the life of Jacques Brel (France’s premier balladeer of the 60s) including his last sailing journey which brought him to the South Pacific. He was buried beside Paul Gauguin in the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. This is a lovely, flowing, musical interview.
Chanson was skilfully arranged by Stefan Oberhaff and Michele Brourman. They played many of the instruments featured in the recording but significant contributions have been made by other musicians including flugelhorn by Oscar winning Mark Isham. Amanda’s voice and Isham’s horn on If We Only Have Love combine to produce a song of haunting quality. Overall, this is music not to be missed. It travels straight to the heart and captures the essence of Brel.
For more on the salvage of Askoy II, the 60 foot steel hulled yacht sailed by Jacques Brel to the South Pacific visit here. And for the interview I did with author and sailor, Lyndsay Wright, who pointed this out to me clickhere.
For my complete one hour interview with Amanda please click below:
For my 2009 interview with Amanda McBroomvisit here.
This Voices from the North interview is with ocean sailor and writer Lindsay Wright of New Plymouth. Originally trained as a journalist, Lindsay’s love of yachting has carried him all over the world and almost to a watery grave. His fascinating stories give listeners a glimpse into the psyche of a person prepared to do what he loves, despite the obstacles life has thrown his way. He describes with fondness a recent but bygone era when adventurous sailors plied their skills without the advances of GPS and improved sail handling gear.
He is the current secretary for the Solo Tasman Yacht Race that sails out of New Plymouth in 2010 enroute for Queensland. This single-handed race runs every four years and has hosted some illustrious yachting names, people like Jerry Clark, Bill Belcher and musician Andrew Fagan (in a craft under 20 feet). These are people who don’t just sail, they often build their own boats. They’re an eclectic mix—from a dentist in Queenstown to a quarryman in Turangi. Lindsay will himself be participating in the next race with his 28 foot sloop.
Lindsay describes sailing and racing for others, delivering boats on the ICW (Intercoastal Waterway of the Eastern US).
Lindsay speaks with fondness of an earlier adventure in his life; time spent cruising the Spitsbergen Islands. The trip, made by Lindsay, his wife, Sarah and their cat, Luigi began with a journey through the Stairway to Heaven between Fort William and Inverness, a canal system connecting something like 12 lochs including Loch Ness.
Such is the life of intrepid sailors: Lindsay’s wife Sarah is English, they met in the Caribbean and they were married in America.
He describes vividly the lives of the last old time whalers of Norway; in fact, he and Sarah were there living briefly with Norse traditional Minke whalers in the last year they were allowed to legally whale. These were proud whalers with a way of life many generations old. Lindsay is quick to point out that this way of life is far removed from the unsustainable slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean being carried out by Japanese whalers today. The book he wrote of the journey is called Red Sails No Sunset.
Lindsay’s choice of music is a famous Jacques Brel song, Ne Me Qutte Pas. He chose the song for very personal reasons. He owned, sailed and wrecked (the night his hair went gray) a yacht owned by famous Belgian songwriter Jacques Brel. His story of Askoy, the boat Brel sailed to the southern seas when he was diagnosed with throat cancer, is fascinating and not to be missed.
“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”
Chanting is no more holy than listening to the murmur of a stream, counting prayer beads no more sacred than simply breathing. . . . If you wish to attain oneness with the Tao, don’t get caught up in spiritual superficialities. A Taoist Quote from Lao Tze
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