the muse

Anna Aliena Serenada

Serenada: Seven Croatian songs

The release date of the Serenada album has finally been set: It’s on April 15th, 2016. My first classical EP contains seven chosen Croatian songs by Josip Hatze:

1. Ljubav
2. Mio Si Mi (originally “Mila Si Mi”)
3. Cvati, Cvati, Ružice
4. Večernje Zvono
5. Serenada
6. Kiša Pada
7. Suzi

Yesterday I had a photo shooting with Christina Katz who had also taken the promotion pictures for The Muse. I wore one of my elegant dresses from Daniel Rabe who is my favourite Berlin designer. My pink era is definitely over! Now it’s time for class and quality. I hope you’ll also like the outcome of my latest photo session.

In order to give you a first impression of my forthcoming record, I made a short promotion trailer containing snippets of all the seven tracks. I truly love singing in Croatian! Today my Serbian teacher Nena announced to provide me with more Croatian repertoire next week. Is this the end of ‘alien pop’? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: Times have changed and I’m not the same musician I used to be five or six years ago. If I’m meant to continue my musical career in Croatian, I see no reason to protest! 😉

My first video from the Serenada album is going to be released on March 13th: I decided to sing “Suzi” on it, a song dedicated to a tear. I also have plans to film a “Serenada” video which will be out on April 15th – on the day of the digital release.

Anna Aliena The Muse

What Reviewers Say About The Muse

Four months ago, on October 31st, 2015, my latest EP The Muse was released. Today I would like to give you an overview of the reviews I’ve received for the record so far. Here we go:

“Die Lieder dieser EP sind  sehr ausdrucksstark.  Das gilt sowohl textlich als auch für die Art und Weise wie Anna Aliena die Songs stimmlich zum Besten gibt. Ich würde das Ganze als eine angenehme Mischung zwischen Pop und Oper bezeichnen. Gut wird das Ganze durch den Einsatz von Orchesterinstrumenten untermalt. Einfach toll geworden.” (Roman Golub, BadBlack Unicorn)

“Tremendous job – I wouldn’t have thought this music could be something I’d end up appreciating as much as I have today…and I’d personally like to thank Anna for that, because she’s solely responsible. Again…the music on The Muse is never out of line, never offensive, but also never the star; it would be impossible to standout or shine next to a singer like Anna Aliena – she has a charming, charismatic voice you couldn’t possibly take your attention away from.” (SleepingBagStudios)

“Anna Aliena is a talented singer who has found the right balance between her classically trained voice and a beautiful gothic-reverie sound.” (Side-Line Music Magazine)

“‘The Muse’ is een mooie cd, met een mooie spanning tussen de meer zonnige en zwaarmoedige nummers. De orgelklanken klinken meer bombastisch, maar je vraagt je af of het niet nog wat orkestraler had gemogen. Met deze worp neemt Anna Aliena alleszins wat afstand van de soms wat kitscherige synthpop die haar eerder werk kenmerkte, en het resultaat mag er zijn.” (Xavier Kruth, DarkEntries)

“Die Geschichte von Liebe in der Ferne erzählt „Deine Blauen Augen“ beziehungsweise auf kroatisch „Tvoje plave oci“. Diese Ballade rührt zu Tränen, ist so voller Sehnsucht und Leidenschaft. Selten kam Annas Opernstimme besser zur Geltung als in diesem Stück. Sie hat auch kroatisch gelernt und singt ganze Textpassagen in Kroatisch. Nicht zuletzt steigerte dies ihre Beliebtheit in diesem Kulturkreis gerade enorm! Man darf also gespannt sein, auf welche unentdeckten Pfade es die Künstlerin nach der Veröffentlichung noch verschlägt!” (Maximilian Nitzschke-Stockmann, Back Again)

“Mostly though, you will you will marvel at the power and artistry she is capable of in so many styles of music. Clearly this is not everybody’s cup of tea, but if you are able to throw all your genres out the window and completely rethink your musical priorities, Aliena’s distinct ability to transport you to places you’ve never even dreamed about, is in the air, on “The Muse”. It’s a cosmic smattering of all things Anna Aliena!” (Jamsphere.com)

“Where Anna Aliena’s music really stands out is in her blending of otherworldly sounds and tones with the age old familiarity of musical traditions that have proved to stand the test of time. As a result, this is music that should be a real thrill for any fans of current classical crossover, as well as providing some interesting listening for anyone wanting to broaden the genre palette that they might usually go to.” (Crossradar.com)

“Digitale la struttura, la voce è in purezza quella di un soprano vaudevilliano: la fiaba si tinge di rosso sangue, le lacrime sono cristalli che escono dagli occhi di una ballerina che non ama più il soldatino di piombo, forse disillusa, per questo ancor più bella del passato.” (Nicola Tenani, Sounds Behind The Corner)

 

Happy New Year – Plans For 2016

2015 is almost over. I hope it was a good year for you despite the difficult political situation. For me the past year has brought a lot of musical and personal changes. In 2014 I definitely had more gigs than this year, but after all I decided to focus more on quality venues than being on stage as often as possible.

During the first half of 2015 I suffered from a slight lack of creativity. Some song drafts remained unfinished and unpublished because I simply didn’t consider them as good enough to be thrown out on the market. Due to surprising inspiration during my summer holidays (please read The Story Behind Tvoje Plave Oči), I suddenly had a strong urge to complete my EP The Muse differently than expected. I started to learn a new language, got rid of the pink wig connected with the Swinging Berlin record and said goodbye to a number of false friends.

After the making of The Muse I felt particularly attracted to the classical songs from the Croatian composer Josip Hatze. Thus, I started to arrange five tracks to be released on my first classical EP Serenada (learn more on Preview Of A Classical Record) next spring. In the meantime I discovered two additional songs which shall also appear on that record. In January I will film my first classical music video called “Suzi” (To A Tear). By the way, I have a brand-new quality camera to shoot overwhelming static and moving pictures!

In summer 2016 it’s fixed to go to Croatia to produce a breathtaking Tvoje Plave Oči video. I’ve already written a new first verse in Croatian (eventually I’m able to do it myself) and translated the song into English and French. The three new versions will be out on July 1st, 2016. As usual, I may also compose a series of new songs on which I will experiment with lyrics in different languages. Which language do you like most in connection with my voice? Before wishing you all the best for next year, I’m asking you to answer another poll:

HAPPY NEW YEAR! FROHES NEUES JAHR! SRETNA NOVA GODINA! BONNE ANNÉE!

Nocturnal Blue-Eyed Inspiration

After reading this article you will probably take me for a freak. I think I am, but at least I’m a creative freak with a certain talent to learn foreign languages. During the night from Tuesday to Wednesday I woke up in the middle of the night, thinking that I had never truly liked the German verse on Tvoje Plave Oči. You know, I automatically visualize a stupid German tourist looking for fun with sun-tanned beach boys! 😉 That’s not what I am. I’m a good girl who would never dare to … Well … 😉

First verse for Tvoje Plave OciI tried to get rid of my thoughts at quarter to three in the morning, but closing my eyes would not help me fall asleep again. Suddenly I remembered a line from a Croatian rock song I had listened to a couple of hours before: “Ne mogu zaspati” (I cannot fall asleep). I switched on the light, took a pen and a piece of paper to write down my new first verse for track 6 from my latest EP The Muse – in Croatian language! It didn’t take long to search for the words. Seemingly the song lyrics had always been there expecting to be discovered. Not bad for a person who started exploring that kind of vocabulary only four months ago! Somehow it felt spooky and unreal.

On Wednesday I almost believed in a dream. However, it was naked reality as I found a piece of handwritten evidence next to my bed. Happily I also remembered the booking of a trip to film the video for “Tvoje Plave Oči”. Since Tuesday evening it has been fixed and scheduled for June 2016, and for private reasons I will not reveal the settings to you! 😉 Just be sure that after the holiday I will release two new versions of the love song: one version completely in Croatian and “Your Blue Eyes” in English. Yesterday I’ve also made slight changes on the instrumental arrangement.

It’s the first time for me to edit a song which has been released before. Maybe “Tvoje Plave Oči” is a story still waiting for its ending or perhaps I’m in love with its language. In fact, I can hardly wait to produce the video! I know I will look beautiful in it, but never as beautiful as the scenery to be featured in it. By the way, here’s the beginning of all this blue-eyed nocturnal inspiration: The Story Behind “Tvoje Plave Oči“ … Very sentimental, isn’t it?

Anna Aliena live at Galerie Studio St.St.

My Successful Record Release Party

Foto: Anna Aliena

Last Friday my new EP The Muse was released. I celebrated the record release party at my favourite spot of the Berlin art scene: Galerie Studio St.St. This gallery is run by the charming painter, songwriter and living art work Juwelia Soraya St.St. In my opinion Juwelia is the sweetest transvestite this city has ever seen – a friendly funny host who opens her cozy gallery every weekend to present her colourful pictures and her hilariously trashy songs. Visitors are invited to chat and to contribute all kinds of art themselves. If you want to meet me by accident, come to the gallery on a Friday night. You might find me there while performing opera or my own songs.

As I have always appreciated the warm living-room atmosphere of Juwelia’s world, I decided to launch The Muse at Galerie Studio St.St. Due to the typical traffic delays I arrived a little bit late, wearing a stunning olive green velvet dress made by my favourite Berlin fashion designer Daniel Rabe. The gallery had already been crowded and a couple of my best friends gave me a very warm welcome. Everything was perfect to feel good during the show which was opened by Juwelia.

Foto: Albert EwertAt first I sang all the title songs from my first four EPs, starting with “Silly Little Boys” from 2011. None of those boys had gathered among the spectators, not even my three muses from The Muse. Thus, I was merely surrounded by nice boys and girls who made me feel good. I truly enjoyed the interaction with the audience this time. In fact, it was the best record release party I have ever had! Unfortunately some friends were forced to be absent because of the flu or geographical distance. In my thoughts, however, we were all connected …

If you were not able to come to my show either, please feel free to have a glimpse at the concert photos on my Facebook page. The EP itself is available at my CD shop or at iTunes and other digital download platforms.

Available CDs from Anna Aliena

The Anna Aliena CD shop

Have you visited my new CD shop? I promise you that this part of my website is the only place where you can buy all my CDs! In addition, I will personally sign the purchased album for you if you wish. Concerning my forthcoming EP The Muse, I made up my mind not to give the CD to any external distributor. As a musician you hardly ever know where the money ends up … You better order The Muse here and get Alien Pop for free.

Of course my CD shop has been authorized by my label Go!Diva Records which is mainly responsible for distributing my records. As you can see on the picture, I have never published my debut Silly Little Boys (2011) on CD. Nevertheless, my first EP and the single Gloomy Sunday (2012) are available at the big download stores such as Amazon and iTunes.

At the moment I only accept your payment via PayPal. All the prices include package and shipment to your home address – no matter where you live. If you make an order on my website, your CD will be accompanied by a handwritten letter from me to you. Many of you already know how much I love the interaction with my fans. Whenever you leave a comment on my social media sites, I try to reply to you as soon as possible.

Tomorrow I’m going to start recording my classical EP Serenada which will probably be out next spring. For details, please read my blog post Preview Of A Classical Record.

Button CD Shop

Three copies of The Muse

How I designed the CD artwork for The Muse

While I was arranging a Josip Hatze song for my classical EP Serenada, my forthcoming oeuvre The Muse arrived from the CD factory on Thursday night. After unpacking the parcel I felt like a little kid on Christmas Eve as some of you may have noticed on my Facebook site, on Twitter or Google+. In my opinion the CD looks beautiful and even a little bit better than its predecessor Swinging Berlin! Well, it’s a question of personal taste and I don’t want to sound narcissistic here. Nevertheless, it involves a lot of work to create professional-looking CD artwork. Today I’m telling you how it works.

At first you must find a realiable factory to print CDs at reasonable prices. I always order them at the same company which is specialized in smaller editions. On their website they provide samples having the right measurements for the cover image, the booklet, the inlay and the CD label. Customers can download these samples for Adobe Photoshop – the well-known photo software I’ve always used to design the outer appearance of my music.

Booklet picture of the CD The MuseAs my recent press photos focus on romantic sunsets in Croatia, it was easy to conceive an appropriate layout for The Muse on CD. The booklet conceals one of the marvelous images taken by Christina Katz (please also read “The Muse“ press photos in the making). Page 4 of the booklet and the back of the CD feature my spectacular sunset pictures I personally shot on the beach of Starigrad-Paklenica. By the way, I didn’t need Photoshop to increase the brightness of the colours. When you look at the CD, you will see the sunset through my eyes. Of course nothing will ever be able to compete with the original moment of taking the photos, though!

Until now The Muse has not left my territory, except for one copy: Although it’s a national holiday in Germany, my vocal coach Snezana Nena Brzakovic gave me a lesson this morning. Since she helped me translate the song “Deine Blauen Augen“ into “Tvoje Plave Oči“, she had to be the first one to hold The Muse in her hands. 🙂

The official record release of The Muse is on October 30th. If you preorder it before this date, I will give you my EP Alien Pop from 2013 for free! I decided to sell the EP for 8 euros per copy (plus package and shipping). Soon you will be able to order my music on this website, but you can also contact me via Facebook or write an email to info@godiva-records.biz. I’m going to add my signature to each CD!

CD The Muse and Anna Aliena on the cover