ZENIT: After singing musicals or more frolicsome songs, what urged you to sing all over sudden in latin?

MARISA: Oh, it wasn´t so „all over sudden“ at all. What sparked me was probably the „VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS“ , I sang a couple of years ago on a CD of Inge Brück called „Artists for Christ“ here in Germany. That´s what sparked me. For about 2 years, I was more intensely occupied with the songs of Hildegard von Bingen.The idea to get closer to her music happened nearly ten years ago, when I started to be interested in her as a person. Personally I am much more interested in spiritual songs. I feel a need to share them. But it doesn´t keep me away from interpretating so called „light music songs“ in a new way. Barbara Streisands song„ Papa can you hear me“ from the movie „Yentl“ f.ex. , is definitely a spiritual song to me. The song „ Where do I go from here?“ ( Disney´s movie „Pocahontas 2 – Journey to a new world“ ) is always an invitation to me , to listen to your inner voice, to be more focused on that inner voice while living in a loud and hectic world. And Lilli´s „ I feel like you do“ from the muscial „Tabaluga and Lilli“, is it really ONLY a simple lovesong? Or could it be also a reminder, that every human being has similar whishes and fears, worries, needs and hopes ? Because of that, we should have great care for each oher and treat each other more gently. It´s the point of view which is decisive for the interpretation of modern lyrics. Like each of the very ancient languages, Latin has its very own deep vibration. That´s the reason why it is stimulating something deep within us. Something in us is responding to this, even if you didn´t learn Latin in school. It would be impossible to sing Hildegard von Bingen´s songs in german. They need to be sung in latin. To intellectually comprehend in order for our minds and also to ease the access to the lyrics, they have been printed in latin and then translated to german in the CD booklet. But in the end, it´s not really about comprehending, but allowing oneself to let go and be one with the music and the latin.


ZENIT: How did you get introduced to Hildegard von Bingen, what is she giving to you ?

MARISA: Honestly, I don´t remember anymore, who introduced me to Hildegard von Bingen. My first conscious memory was at the end of 1999, simply because, during a journey my train had a little stop in the city BINGEN and I immeadiately remembered her name. Instantly I wished to see where she lived and worked, her sphere of activity, where she left such a strong impression. I wanted to know, who she was and why is she still admired nowadays all over the world? How could she maintain as abbess, to built her own monastary, against the will of her superiors, for her nunns and to leave the old one; not to be afraid of them, but to persist and nontheless maintain the softness and the love of her own songs and lyrics - victorious humility! She was pervaded from a higher Spirit and – after tremendous inner battles – she trusted it. I believe that therefor she had this unbelievable strength which I connect with her, and her courage to move on, to reduce limitations. We live in such an incredibly insane time,that the contemplation on different values has become a question of survival. Also to connect oneself with the silence within, which in the end has so much to say if one listens, became part of my life, that I wouldn´t like to miss.


ZENIT: What is this „different world“ that you want to captivate us with through your music ?

MARISA: It is not my music it is Hildegard von Bingen´s music and I am allowed to sing it. This music releases tremendous joy and peace within me, far away from this hectic life. It is like a meditation or a prayer. To be able to dive for half an hour into this world: is it not like being taken into a „different world“ ?

ZENIT: With your new CD , did you consciously plan to give a personal display of faith, or did it just happened accidentally, because of the material you wanted to sing ?

MARISA: The great dancer Nijinsky once said: „You will understand me, if you see me dance.“ I believe that it is not necessary, to yell out a display of faith or to plan it. Everybody is a testimonial of what he is doing every day in life. And that is vivid and perceivable for everyone on the outside. Sometimes loudly, sometimes quietly.

ZENIT: As a musician, do you have a matter that is close to your heart ?

MARISA: I ´d love to bring people together, in love and respect. Music is a great way to do that.It´s a direct language between people without limits. Everybody is capable to feel music, not only the one who is listening but also the one who is singing: through that, we are already in a dialogue.

An artist always should try to create something beautiful, that nurtures peole and brings them closer to themselves. Be it in the shape of a thought, a play, a picture or a tone. It changes me,when I get touched in my being. If I can touch people in their soul with something beautiful, I have already accomplished so much.