Meeting on April 10, 2024—Simone Keller’s Book/CD “Hidden Heartache”

April 10th, 2024 ONLINE
2pm EST/NYC-time
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We are pleased to welcome Simone Keller and the composers, authors, and collaborators for her recent book and CD release both titled Hidden Heartache.

Simone Keller, a classical pianist by training but with a transversal and interdisciplinary outlook, was born in Weinfelden, in the canton of Thurgau, in 1980. As an artist and performer, she feels at home in contemporary music, musical theatre, improvisation, and in experimental and participatory formats. As a guest performer, Simone Keller has played regularly with ensembles such as the Musikkollegium Winterthur, the Southwest German Philharmonic, and the Collegium Novum Zurich. She has collaborated with renowned conductors like Peter Rundel, Jac van Steen, Pablo Heras-Casado, and others. Keller has also recorded various works, including Ustwolskaja’s Piano Sonatas for the BöhlauVerlag Wien and collaborated with institutions like the SWR Experimental Studio.

Hidden Heartache is a CD of 100 minutes of piano music from the last 100 years in the context of social inequality and unequal power relations, released with Intakt Records. The Swiss pianist Simone Keller is both courageous and fearless with an eye for the essentials and for the big issues of the day. The album is a self-portrait and an homage, with Keller asking herself which piano music of the last 100 years deserves greater attention. « It soon becomes obvious that there are thousands of hours of unheard, unplayed works by underrepresented composers. The selection I ultimately made is very personal, and closely connected to my own pianistic activities. But it was also very important to me that Hidden Heartache should not merely gather together historical figures, but also present compositions of today that reveal varied perspectives on societal and power inequalities while at the same time paying homage to the music of Julius Eastman and Julia Amanda Perry. These new works by the Swiss composers Jessie Cox and Cristina Janett, and the Americans Julie Herndon and Jessie Marino, were created in direct collaboration with me », writes Simone Keller.

A small booklet is normally compiled to accompany a musical recording, in which information is provided about the pieces of music and the performers. The book “Hidden Heartache,” published by Jungle Books Verlag, is intended as an oversized booklet that does not simply want to bind a small bouquet of flowers with illustrative texts, but completely reverses the booklet relationship. The music is comprehensively supplemented and expanded, a multi-layered discourse is stimulated: a “book instead of a booklet” that will thematize the structures of power and inequality and thus clearly points beyond the music.


Hidden Heartache – 100 minutes of piano music from the last 100 years in the context of social inequality and unequal power relations

Jungle Books ISBN 978-3-033-10349-8

Authors: May Alrefai, Ruramisai Charumbira, Antoine Chessex und Oxana Ivanova-Chessex, Jessie Cox, Anja Nunyola Glover, Sandra Hetzl, Ellie M. Hisama, Mardoché Kabengele, Simone Keller, Alain Leite Stampfli, Michelle Ziegler

Translation: Katharine Halls (Arabic-English), Sandra Hetzl (Arabic-German), Tobias Neumann (English-German), Chris Walton (German-English), Charlotte Wührer (German-English, Text Sandra Hetzl)
Copy editing and proofreading: Christina Bösel, Miriam Waldvogel
Design: Samuel Bänziger, Rosario Florio, Larissa Kasper
Concept and idea: Simone Keller
Editor: Kulturstiftung des Kantons Thurgau
Project lead: Stefan Wagner, Kulturstiftung des Kantons Thurgau

Intakt Records CD 419 (2CDs)

Compositions by Julia Amanda Perry, Irene Higginbotham, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Olga Diener, Jessie Cox, Abathar Kmash أباذر قماش, Jessie Marino, Julius Eastman, Julie Herndon, Cristina Janett, Lil Hardin Armstrong

Piano: Simone Keller. Oud: Abathar Kmash. Bassoon: Valeria Curti. Trombone: Michael Flury
Arrangements and Toy Piano: Philip Bartels
Recording, Mix and Mastering: Michaela Wiesbeck
Liner notes: Franziska Buhre