Although Speaking Dutch Probably Makes It Easier
2001 Leonard Cohen Interview Available Again
Jo Meul sends word that a 2001 interview with Leonard Cohen, Sharon Robinson, and Leanne Ungar done by Elke Vandersypen following the release of the Ten New Songs album is again available for listening.
When the Leonard Cohen World Tour hit Ghent for three shows in August 2010, Radio 1 changed its name to Radio Cohen for the week, airing a daily program on the the Canadian singer-songwriter. In the process, the 2001 interview was reorganized into four programs, each of which has a similar structure: a Cohen song to begin with, then the Belgian deejay gives a Dutch translation of the question asked, its context, and the answer given, then Leonard Cohen’s answer is given in his own voice, then another Cohen song is played, and so on…
After hearing the interviews myself, my take on the language issue follows: there’s a whole lotta Dutch going on, but there is plenty of material in English – including the Sharon Robinson and Leanne Ungar sections – that amply repays listening.
Now, in anticipation of the Ghent concerts that open the 2012 Leonard Cohen Old Ideas World Tour, the broadcast is back online. Go to http://www.radio1.be/
Jo Meul describes the content of each session:
- Cucamonga 1 (26’12”): Songs : The Future, Tower Of Song, Bird On The Wire. Cohen talks about giving interviews, songwriting, writing novels, making records and his economic situation.
- Cucamonga 2 (21’25”): Songs : Suzanne, Story Of Isaac, Who By Fire, If It Be Your Will. Cohen talks about religion, Roshi, Mount Baldy routine, cooking for Roshi, leaving the monastery, working with Leanne Ungar and Sharon Robinson. At 15’27” there is a short interview with Sharon Robinson on meditation.
- Cucamonga 3 (31’36”): Songs : Don’t Go Home With Your Hard-On, First We Take Manhattan, Lover Lover Lover, Avalanche (the Nick Cave cover). Cohen talks about how he thinks of himself, employment, touring plans, comfort, gold record for ‘Songs of Leonard Cohen’, use of his songs, covers. At 15’42” there is a short interview with Leanne Ungar about ‘Field Commander Cohen.’
- Cucamonga 4 (27’40”): Songs: Hey That’s No Way To Say Goodbye, A Thousand Kisses Deep, By The Rivers Dark, Here It Is. Cohen talks about the title ‘Ten New Songs’, the process of writing with Sharon Robinson, moods, a WH Auden quote, Book of Longing, losing grip and Here It Is. At 3’10” and 15’03,” there are short interviews with Sharon Robinson about sampling instruments, the sound of ‘Ten New Songs’, melodies and lyrics. At 5’34” there is a short interview with Leanne Ungar.
Again, the full interview can be heard by going to http://www.radio1.be/