Amazing Africa

12 Pieces for Piano Solo.

1. Kinyongo 3:57
2. Circus Queen 3:50
3. Morning Peace 1:57
4. Consolation 3:33
5. Blue Earth 2:58
6. Borakalano 2:14
7. Sad Song 3:06
8. Tell me what happiness is 4:11
9. Kuagana 2:55
10. Fa wo do yi mame 4:25
11. Starry Sky 3:28
12. Lullaby 5:09

1. Kinyongo
Kinyongo means Nostalgia. We remember something that was wonderful but will never return, a kind of sweet sadness for which I found this floating melody. Originally, Kinyongo was the second movement of Vitambo vya moyo (moments of the heart), my African Suite No.4 written in 2008 for the Ensemble Pipelife from Karlsruhe.

2. Circus Queen
This piece is driven by the Ewe rhythm from Ghana but also has elements of jazz and impressionism – a wild mixture! It first took shape as the final movement of my African suite No. 23 Kampala Circus, which I wrote for the Hanke brothers and their unique instrumentation of piano, tuba, viola and recorder. Kampala is the vibrant capital of Uganda, home to many millions of people. The circus as a form of art and entertainment is something very „African“ for me: using the body as instrument, connecting play, dance, virtuosity and fight, it is a sensual and sense-free pleasure designed purely to make the audience laugh, to thrill them, to leave them speechless and make them happy.

3. Morning Peace
When I came to Poland in 2014, the family of the double bass genius Marcin Oleś hosted me in Kraków. In the early morning his children, Morgan and Mirta, were playing quietly in the living room. They were trying not to disturb their sleeping parents in the other room, and I joined their company. I tried to capture this special atmosphere in Morning Peace. It was originally the second movement of the suite Umbalisi mabali for double bass that I wrote for their father, Marcin.

4. Consolation
Consolation is a piece about a mother holding her child in her arms, lulling them, telling them stories to distract them, and she keeps whispering Everything will be fine. It was first written as the third movement of Ixesha, my African Suite No. 20. Ixesha, in Xhosa, means Time and refers to the African proverb: ‚The Europeans have the clock, the Africans have the time.’ The theme is repeated and varied giving the feeling of time slowing down, going in circles, or standing still.

5. Blue Earth
This piece began as the third movement of my African Suite No. 24 Mathongo Amnandi (sweet dreams), written for Seldom Sene from Amsterdam. Blue Earth is about the dream of being an astronaut, flying through space and watching our earth, the blue planet, from afar. It’s a kind of prayer and meditation. Musically, it consists of twelve variations on the first four bars, only interrupted by one three-bar bridge.

6. Borakalano
Borakalano means marketplace, and those places are omnipresent in Subsaharan Africa. In cities, towns, villages and in the middle of nowhere they are a colorful, wild, loud and energetic hustle-bustle. I chose the 5/16+5/16+6/16 bar to depict this creative chaos. It was first written as the third movement of pina ya phala, my African Suite No. 2 for recorder trio. Except the second last bar the piece only uses the seven notes of the major scale.

7. Sad Song
My name Sören means „strict and serious“ which in my view describes quite well the character of this piece. It is composed in four parts throughout the piece to achieve my ideal of purity and simplictiy.

8. Tell me what happiness is
I first wrote this for my a cappella group LaLeLu in 2010 for our show Pech im Unglück (misfortune in bad luck). I re-wrote it for recorder quartet in 2014 and for piano solo in 2020. It’s one of the melodies I cannot get out of my head!

9. Kuagana
Kuagana means farewell. This piece is dedicated to my beloved Grandma, Aenne Paff who gave me love, warmth and protection throughout my childhood. I lost her far too early in 1984. She will never be forgotten.

10. Fa wo do yi mame
Fa wo do yi mame in Twi means Give me your love. This piece certainly is my most re-arranged piece. I have composed and re-worked it for recorder orchestra, a cappella quartet, a cappella quartet plus orchestra, piano quartet plus vocal trio - and in the end for piano solo. Love rules: enthusiastic love, soft love, hidden love, insisting love, triumphant love.

11. Starry Sky
Looking at a clear starry sky remains one of our deepest and most mysterious experiences, connecting us with the world as a whole. Even life and death seem to become meaningless in the face of the eternity and infinity of the universe. We feel lost and saved, alone and connected at the same time.

12. Lullaby
To help your child fall asleep through singing while carrying them around was the most moving task for me as a father. I tried to put all love and tenderness in this melody. Originally I wrote it for double bass solo. Later, I edited it for recorder solo, violoncello solo, violin solo and for recorder and marimba. This version is like a long improvisation upon the theme.

Here you see three videos from the album:

The happy "Borakalano":

The "Sad Song":


And the energetic Circus Queen:

number of pages: 
19,90 Euro