Last Sunday, I met up with singer-songwriter and documentary film maker: Leon Giesen. After several years of working with both mediums separately, he decided, in the last ten years, to combine the two. In his nice little studio converted from an old school on the outskirts of Utrecht, he explained to me his intricate live set. I don’t want to recount it badly and ruin the surprise if you ever go and see him live – I’ll say only this: he’s got three screens, nice imagery and an old bass guitar with a fabulous story!
As most of us don’t understand Dutch, Leon asked me if I could join a little paragraph to explain what the songs are about – understanding the words are crucial to understanding documentary songs! In the end he sent me exactly what to write and gave me some photos as an extra accompaniment:
Tango alleen (music and words: Leon Giesen)
“About going your own way no matter what other people say.More or less inspired by the story of Ferdinand Cheval, the postman who built a palace in his own backyard (made of stones that he found).”
M (music and words: Leon Giesen)
“One of the first songs I made (that I can still listen to and like to play). About a postcard that I once received from my girlfriend. On the front it had a beautiful picture of an unmade bed, and on the back a very short message: Mmm, M”
Simpel (music and words: Leon Giesen)
“About the best food I ever ate (a grilled sardine), most delicious wine I ever tasted (from a plastic cup), finest music I ever heard (coming form a half broken car radio) and the most inspired time I ever made love (in a tropical rainstorm).
All of these top-experiences took place on vacation.
What does that mean?”
Here are the recordings:
If you like what you hear, here is Leon’s website: http://www.mondoleone.nl/