She has the gift to stir up an audience to great highs and lows, because she personally wants to experience the significance of each and every note and word that she sings. Petra is a perfectionist. And besides being a perfectionist, she is very ambitious when it comes to the content of a song. "A beautiful melody," she explains, "simply won’t do.
Each song has to be about something." That quality, often lacking in pop musicians, has resulted in two ambitious musical projects that were composed and written with a certain theme in mind. Eternal Woman (2001) is about the lives of eleven great women, ranging from Maria Magdalena and Cleopatra to Marie-Antoinette and Catharina the Great. This project was followed in 2003 by another ‘concept’ album (Mistress), this time about the fate of famous and tragic lovers such as Catharina de Medici, Frida Kahlo and even Hillary Clinton. Both albums were a huge international success and Eternal Woman even became platinum.
However, on tour Petra came to realize that these wonderful historical productions, how interesting they were and still are, had nothing to do with her own life. She doesn’t play a role in the political arena and she is definitely not a tragic lover. Furthermore, Petra and her husband Jeroen Englebert (composer/producer) are now the proud parents of a son and a daughter, which has altered their perspectives on life and work tremendously. "It was time to look for repertoire that not only appeals to me musically.
Its content should also reflect who I am and what makes me tick at this moment in my life," she says. "As a result, this is the most intimate and tender record I can think of. I wonder if I will be able to stay as true to myself in the future. Love, in all its manifestations, is the central theme of this album, ranging from the love of a son for his deceased father (If came the hour), romantic love (happy or not) and, for instance, the love between two fighting friends who don’t want to let go of each other (Can’t let go). They are able to forgive because they realize that their friendship is more important than their wounded egos.
It’s a beautiful duet with Simone Kleinsma, whom I know very well, having co-starred with her in the musical Sweeny Todd many years ago. Then there are two compositions especially for my children, one of them being Conta sempre su di me, which means: whatever you do, you can always count on me. The music was written by Tjeerd Oosterhuis, who also produced this album. The Italian lyrics are a faithful translation of the lyrics about the unbreakable bond between a mother and her child that I wrote for this song.
It’s a different relationship from any other. It’s true: you bring them into this world, look into their eyes and you know: this is forever. Liberta, the other song, is an encouragement for my children to become who they truly want to become." Last but not least, there is the all-revealing title track ‘Here and Now’, which reflects the overall emotional significance of the album both in its lyrics (Petra Berger) and music (After Forever). Based on the books of mystic Eckhart Tolle, it is a spirited and intensely cheerful recommendation to us all to let go of our past disappointments and pain; to no longer be afraid and just live in the NOW.
(taken from her official site) Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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