Anne Hartkamp’s descriptions of the stars and time, of love and existence are irrepressibly, playfully, beguilingly full of life. Her lyrics and compositions are modern German songs, an entirely new blend bearing the unmistakable influences of chanson, jazz, cacophony and pop. A cornucopia for the ear: outstanding musicians, great songs, a wonderful, richly faceted voice. – A cornucopia for the mind: tight-knit, fresh language. – A cornucopia for the heart: wit and warmth, flight and return landings.
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Anne Hartkamp is the voice and vocal point of the band hartkamp. Her songs, sung in German, combine the influences of songwriter pop, jazz and chanson to create a style all their own.
Her much-admired great-aunt lived through nearly an entire century, during which she and her husband established a puppet theatre that remains legendary to this day. Perhaps story-telling is in Anne Hartkamp’s blood: Addicted even as a child to the magic of words and music, Hartkamp devoured all the books she could get her hands on, and when she was not reading or acting out wild plots, she was singing. She learned to play the violin, the piano and the guitar, began to sing classical songs, then turned to jazz, Brazilian music and the songs of Joni Mitchell, Jacques Brel and Kurt Weill. This versatile musician composed pieces for her own groups, sang as a studio musician for pop, radio and film productions, wrote arrangements for her a cappella quartet and performed on stage with well-known jazz musicians or sometimes alone.
The voice and focal point of her hartkamp group, Anne Hartkamp writes the kind of songs you love more every time you hear them. With her clear, intense voice and direct, poetic gaze she creates images of strangely everyday phenomena, a relentless stocktaking of the world inside and out; she poses questions, dreams, jeers and dares to touch things; she gets the German language to flow and fly, vibrate and gyrate.
The music of “glücklich” is as variegated as the lyrics and defies attribution to any particular genre, its many facets revealing ever new colours, taking on ever new forms. It combines the influence of songwriter pop, jazz and chanson, creating a style of its own that stands comparison with the unaffected, wilful style of Hartkamp’s Anglo-American singer/songwriter colleagues.
Yet these heights could hardly be reached without the support of exceptional fellow musicians – Anne Hartkamp has found them in the pianist and keyboard player Bernd Kaftan, the bassist André Nendza and the drummer Fritz Wittek. Far more than mere accompanists, each of them contributes to the special magic of hartkamp with a distinctive musicality and personality of his own.
Anne Hartkamp– songs, compositions and texts
Bernd Kaftan– keyboards
André Nendza– bass
Fritz Wittek– drums