HCA NEWS Rhyme Devil at play in Odense

New CD on the way, setting music to poetry from the universe of Hans Christian Andersen. There will be a sampling at the festivities in Odense for Andersen's 198th birthday on April 2.

By ms - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 31 March 2003

On April 2 at Odense Theater, singer Ulle Bjørn Bengtsson and musician Hans Sydow will perform numbers from their upcoming CD, Rimedjævlen [The Rhyme Devil], inspired by Hans Christian Andersen?s life and writings.  The performance will be part of the celebration of the Danish writer's 198th birthday.

Ulle Bjørn Bengtsson and Hans Sydow have set to music poetry written by Hans Christian Andersen at various periods in his life and provide in their music a portrait of the enthusiastic young poet, the triumphant travel writer and the aging author with experience of life and death.

"Precisely because Hans Christian Andersen's stories have survived for generations and achieved a kind of timelessness, we wanted to produce a contemporary artistic picture of his life and writings, so that we can see him and his art with new eyes. It is our view that every generation needs to tell the story in its own way.  Otherwise, it will become distant and incomprehensible and, in the worst case, die," says Hans Sydow.

The music, which has elements of folk, rock, jazz, classical and electronic music, is accompanied by real sounds that are meant to reflect the "background noise" in Hans Christian Andersen's life. For example, there are sound fragments of the river flowing through Odense, where Hans Christian Andersen's mother washed clothes.

Ulle Bjørn Bengtsson and Hans Sydow will perform at Odense Theater on April 2 this year with an ensemble of six musicians in all. The ensemble, however, is not on the CD, which will be released on the writer's 199th birthday, 2 April 2004.