"Alter "
4. Foarsizzing
5. Balts
6. Awaiting
7. Eftereach

Alter - Nynke

Nynke comes from Friesland and sings in Frisian, a language with a rich history and a great poetic quality, which is only spoken in the northern part of the Netherlands, and is considered by linguists as being somewhere halfway between English and Dutch.

For a number of years, Nynke has been passionate about all forms of Mediterranean and Latin music, from fado and flamenco to various Latin American traditions. She proceeded to create her own "Mediterranean-Frisian" style, inspired by these musical forms she has studied intensively, and sung in her mother tongue. She recorded three albums which became very successful in the Netherlands and earned her both a gold disc, an Edison (the Dutch Music Awards) and a literary prize.

Nynke's outstanding vocal talents attracted the attention of the famous, multiple award-winning producer/guitarist Javier Limón from Spain. The man who produced benchmark albums by fado star Mariza, and Spanish phenomenon Buika, by major flamenco artists such as Paco de Lucia and Diego el Cigala, as well as by Anoushka Shankar, Luz Casal, Bebo Valdés, Yasmin Levy and Carlinhos Brown. Limón became fascinated by Nynke's original take on Mediterranean music, and wanted to work with her on a new album. This is how Alter was born, from an encounter between two people who were soon united by their common love for language and poetry, by their long-time, respective quests for ways to capture emotion in music.

Javier Limón says: “The music of the words in Frisian is very strong and in the songs you hear the sound of the landscape, the wide expanses, the huge sky and the overwhelming green. Then there’s this exceptional voice: when Nynke starts to sing, something happens.”

Alter was recorded and mixed by Javier's younger sister Salomé Limón in their Casa Limón studio in Madrid. Javier produced and played flamenco guitar and bouzouki. Sytze Pruiksma played an assortment of instruments, including the Noardske balke (a Frisian ancestor of the dulcimer). A handful of Spanish contributors took part in the recordings, including Manuel Machado on fluegelhorn, Antonio Serrano on harmonica, Rafael Jiménez ‘El Chispas’ on cajón, flamenco singer Saúl Quirós and flamenco dancer Belén López. The album was co-produced by Nynke and Sytze Pruiksma.

The lyrics to all songs were written by Nynke, with the exception of Foarjiersfers (based on a poem by Rutger Kopland, translated by Nynke), De Brulloft (a cover of a song by Lhasa de Sela, translated by Nynke), and Eftereach (co-written with Frisian poet/performer Tsjêbbe Hettinga, whose voice appears in the piece). With her distinctive style of poetry, Nynke has created a kind of hymn to Spring, to love, to birth, to nature, and to the moods and feelings elicited by those peculiar, broad Frisian landscapes.

The word 'Alter' has multiple significations in different languages: it's the Frisian word for 'altar', a term connected with rituals around life, an element which is present in the album. Nynke becoming a mother (a year before the recording) and her fascination for the continuous transformation of life are somehow reflected in the English meaning of alter: the verb 'to change'. Another key to this album may be found in the Latin signification of the word 'alter': 'other', a word which epitomizes Nynke's musical endeavours, as well as her personal commitments in favour of biodiversity and cultural diversity. She believes that there's an interesting (albeit not immediately obvious) interconnection between the two. Nynke happens to be a WWF Ambassador; and, through her work, she is obviously contributing to the preservation and development of one of the few European minority languages, a cause which is both local and global.

Nynke has now joined forces with Crammed Discs, who will be releasing Alter internationally and will present Nynke's unique work to audiences around the world.