(by Pia Fridhill) Our pianist Stefan Michalke had recorded numerous jazz albums and compositions of his own, long before we met him. Being an instrumentalist, the large part of his jazz tunes were without lyrics and vocals, which is a shame since they're all so beautiful...some of them seemed to cry out for words! One of his songs, 'Lazy in Amsterdam' cried the loudest and inspired me to write a text - not about Amsterdam, but about being unable to sleep at full moon!
Some of us know the feeling when you've drawn the thick curtains, shutting out any light outside and still, although it possibly couldn't affect you, the moonlight finds its way through and right into your head. On such nights I might be dead tired and should be able to sleep soundly, but my mind inevitably starts spinning with plans and regrets, hopes and old complaints. Not to mention, things that could happen, mostly bad things.
For example, I'm afraid that my beloved companion Emma would be run over by a car, or kidnapped. I imagine all possible situations; how I would try to stop her, direct her away from the car and lastly, how I would throw myself in front of the vehicle, saving her and possibly hurting myself. Or, on a more positive note, I will start "writing" a new song in my head, imagining the melody from start to end, replaying it time and time again until it's finally maybe finished at 4 o'clock in the morning. I mostly don't even remember it in the morning.
When I heard 'Lazy in Amsterdam' for the first time I'd already tried to write a song about the power of the moon, but hadn't succeeded. One day I was walking Emma in a new Eifel region I'd discovered, the Weyrer Wald, and I had Stefan's song in my ears. I played it over and over again, and it slowed my pace with its dreamy-bluesy ballad tempo, almost bringing me to a stand-still as the ideas for the words entered my head. It was a sunny day and the nature was stunningly beautiful but the lyrics I came up with were all about the yearning loneliness of the night: the power of the moon capturing my thoughts, encouraging them to go round and round in vicious circles, repeating themselves and seducing me to stay awake and give in to her, the moon, the silent Goddess of the night.
'Insomnia Madness' has become a live performance highlight, giving me the opportunity to once again transform into the blues lady I once was back when I used to perform with the John C. Marshall Band. I love the song, Stefan likes it too, but funny enough....he sleeps like a baby when the moon is full!