As promised, some news on what’s on this Friday night in the café.
Twice a month, RETRO Nørrebro hosts an open-mic night, featuring local musicians and singer-songwriters in a cozy, intimate setting. This week, however, we’re changing it up: we have a returning series of poetry readings accompanied by music.
- Jonas Reppel, recently published author of ‘Daggryet drukner bag strakte tage’
- Kasper Bjerre, of “Ikke et resultat” and “Trådløs”
- Nicolaj Stochholm, of “Odefabrikken”
- Rasmus Brix Jacobsen, singer-songwriter whose work includes a recently released EP, “Paper Boats”
So, how is this all going to come together? Each poet has his own distinct style, but expect Jacobsen’s indie-folk sound to give the performance a unifying theme, through a reasonable amount of improvisation.
Earlier this week I met with Jonas Reppel, one of tomorrow night’s poets, to give me some insight into this unique performance concept and talk about his goals within the Copenhagen poetry scene.
“There is never anything planned when we go on stage with a musician, so it is always interesting to see what happens,” said Reppel, who, since his first reading with music at Jazzhouse, has read with guitar players, pianists, bassists, and electronic DJs to provide counterpoint for his readings. “A good poem must be able to stand strong if there is music or not, but music can make the poems more edible for people. When a man reads with music, he needs to follow the musician and listen… it’s always exciting because the poetry is no longer an independent instrument, but it is forced to work with the atmosphere created.”
Reppel co-founded a reading project called Poetry and Piano to further this concept, alongside poets Claus Høxbroe and Kasper Bjerre. Readings are accompanied by jazz pianist Viktor Dahl.
“Good poetry is music,” Reppel said. “A good poem is full of music, color, rhythm, and is like a mirror for listening, so it must be able to stand strong if you hear it with music or without, I think. But I’ve always thought that poetry and music belong together.”
To contrast the romantic and symbolic nature of Stochholm’s poems and the contemporary, biting language of Bjerre’s, Reppel’s lyrics are sharp, real, and adamantly devoid of fiction.
“My inspiration comes from my everyday life- I write about the things I see,” he said. “You could call my poems photos and my books photo albums. My inspiration is what I experience at the moment it is happening. I write about everything from childhood memories, love, daily life, nature, country and city… nothing is too big or too small.”
Above: Reppel reading at Næstved Hovedbibliotek in 2011 (Danish)
Reppel is currently working on his second anthology, and has done a handful of small reading tours around Copenhagen, as well as in the towns of Næstved and Stege. While his ultimate goal is to invest some time and money into compiling anthologies and possibly a novel or collection of short stories, he is happy to be one of RETRO’s returning volunteer performers tomorrow night.
“It supports a good cause, and it is important to use your art to achieve that cause,” Reppel said. “RETRO is a beautiful and very intimate place where audiences and performers come in a very special atmosphere. I love to perform at RETRO.”
Reppel, Bjerre, Stochholm, and Jacobsen will perform at RETRO Nørrebro, Jægersborggade 14, 2200 starting at 20:00. Come have a beer or two, grab a seat on the couch, and start off your evening the inspiring way.
- Check out the Facebook Event page for this reading
- Read more about the RETRO Association’s core values and humanitarian projects in Sierra Leone: http://www.foreningen-retro.dk/index.php?id=942