This is the album rare & ugly hidden gems, that has its release 15 years after the recordings. These took place in the winter/spring of 1999 in the attic room of Gabriel Metsustraat 6 in Amsterdam, that i rented from a woman who lived downstairs.
Next to the front door of that house is a plaque on the wall saying "Etty Hillesum wrote her journals in this house, 1941-1942". In 1999 – I was a young music poet disguised as a student – I would think 'fun for Etty' and pass through the door. Never feeling the need to sort out her works, or to find out who Etty was.
Back in 1999 I had no laptop, let alone internet, and I had few friends because I found almost everyone in College stupid. I spent my time in the attic room mainly by recording music on my 4track tape recorder, even if I didn’t have any ideas. I would plug in the bass in the hope that an idea would emerge, and usually there were 3.
More than ten years after living and recording in that attic room I discovered Etty Hillesums book An interrupted life (Het verstoorde leven). I think I find her the most talented, wise and most touching writer that I ever read. A kind of Anne Frank, being a Jewish female and keeping a diary in wartime Amsterdam, but then in her late twenties.
The very unique thing about Etty’s diaries is that she started writing them in exactly the phase of her life in which she came across the arguably biggest inner revolution that can happen to a person. Of this revolution Etty reported in her journals and, once she is deported to camp Westerbork, on any piece of paper that she could find, to the postcard that she threw off the train to Auschwitz, that was found by farmers in the Eastern Netherlands who posted it.
After reading Etty Hillesums works I felt very enriched by the idea that I have lived some time in the same house where Etty’s uncomparable creative soul has sparked and sparkled.
The creator of this album, Pissoir Triste, departed several years after the recordings, but I feel compelled to bring out this album in his place. If only to pass on the name of Etty, one of the few real heroes to highlight my life.
M-JO, Amsterdam January 2014
released January 10, 1999
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