Have I mentioned how much I love Emiliana Torrini’s latest CD, Fisherman’s Woman? It’s so gorgeous. The melodies are delicate and simple – they manage to get under your skin so that suddenly without realizing it you’re hearing them in your head wherever you go. But the loveliest thing about them is their gentleness and joy – even though some of them are about serious things like loss and grief they never get bogged down in pessimism or despair – on the contrary, they’re suffused with hope.
Emiliana won a singing competition here in Iceland when she was a teenager and became quite visible in subsequent years, performing in a musical, singing with a band and finally releasing a solo CD. She moved to the UK when she was 21 to work on her music. Five years ago, her boyfriend was killed in New York City, an innocent bystander in a drive-by shooting. That, compounded with the shock of being mugged in London in the middle of the day, turned her into somewhat of a recluse for a couple of years. She stopped singing completely – until director Peter Jackson hired her to sing Gollum’s Song for the score of the second Lord of the Rings film. She was then contacted to write a song for Kylie Minogue – Slow – which became a hit and happily earned her lots of dosh, as well as a Grammy nomination.
She released Fisherman’s Woman earlier this year, and while it immediately received excellent reviews in the international music press, it has slowly but steadily been gaining recognition among the public. She’s said that the title refers to the Icelandic women who have waited at home for their men throughout the centuries – that it helped her get over the loss of her boyfriend to imagine herself as a fisherman’s woman, waiting. It’s the sort of music that you want to enjoy by candlelight, perhaps with a glass of red wine. Her vocals are beautiful and minimalist and she keeps them deliberately low-key [she can really blast out a tune when she wants to] which just means that they are even more sincere than usual.
Make no mistake: autumn has arrived. The leaves are turning colour and we’re getting lots of those blustery days that one associates with fall. Today it rained and rained and rained and rained… quite tiresome. I can tolerate rain very well in the spring, when it serves a purpose; I see no purpose in all this rain now, except to make our lives more difficult. Right now temps are not too bad – 10°C. Day broke at 06.05 and night fell at 20.38.