"Night, Sleep, Death and the Stars"

A Clear Midnight

This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou
lovest best.
Night, sleep, death and the stars. (Walt Whitman)

Inspired by Walt Whitman’s poems and her own nocturnal nightmare episodes, the Austrian singer and composer Nina Reiter, in her current program “Night, Sleep, Death and the Stars”, turns to darker scenes. The three-piece “Nightmare Suite” reflects the gloomy yet fascinating world of her dreams in which demons and snarling creatures shake hands and the singer becomes the haunted.

Reiter’s affinity for poetry becomes palpable in the setting of the Whitman poems she selected, and her self-penned texts are a playful experimentation with words and show loving attention to detail. Reiter’s program also contains pieces by Mani Planzer, a Swiss composer and musician who passed away in Lucerne in 1997. She discovered him in her adopted country and wrote texts to his music.

The trio on Reiter’s side consisting of Stephan Plecher, Benjamin Zalud, and Peter Primus Frosch forms a long-standing and experienced team that doesn’t merely accompany Reiter but actually backs her instrumental role within the band structure.
For some pieces, the quartet gets support from Tobias Hoffmann or Toni Amadeus Bechtold on the tenor saxophone, thus further extending the band sound and opening up more room for arrangements.

Nina Reiter’s “Night, Sleep, Death and the Stars” illuminates the poetic aspect of the darkness of night, strolls through a maze of stiles, and captivates through its musical authenticity and the band’s strong presence.