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5 questions with Irene

November 9, 2009

Irene_ASongofYou_CD_CoverHow would you categorize your music?

I like to call my music So Cal Brazilian Jazz. However, there are critics out there who have really gotten their knickers in a twist over how to categorize my music. Mostly they have said it’s not this or that or the other. And one critic has called us a Bossa Nova combo. That’s pretty silly because Bossa Nova is only one of the Latin rhythms we play. We play jazz influenced, Latin rhythmed music. And I sing. So whatever that is, is what it is.

Describe yourself in 3 words or less. Irene Nachreiner Beach CD Photos

Driven. Creative. Funny.

If my life were a reality show what would it be called?

“Never a Dull Moment with Irene” or “Irene’s Crazy Life”

What was the last good movie you saw?

“Julie & Julia”

Pick three songs and tell me about them.

“Tintim Por Tintim” by João Gilberto.

I found this song on a João Gilberto album and was just enchanted by the tune. Of course he was singing in Portuguese so I asked my guitar player, Marco Tulio to tell me what it was about. He gave me a rough translation and it sounded like kind of cute, funny, lyrics. However, the original version has only one verse repeated three times. I found myself getting lost when I’d sing it and get confused if I was on the second or third repeat. To solve that problem I decided to write a verse in English for the middle. I took my understanding of the words and wrote a new verse. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered that Marco’s translation was a bit off the mark. The Portuguese lyrics are actually a very gentle sort of break-up song. My lyrics have kind of that na-na-na-na-na attitude. But mine also has a bit of humor to it. So I decided to keep it as written. It’s one of my favorite songs on the CD. I dedicate my verse to all those people who’ve had a bad relationship end and wish they could have had the last word.

“The Waiting Song” words by Irene Nachreiner, music by Irene Nachreiner

I wrote the music for this song with Alex Varden with the only idea of what is was about being: “I miss you.” Once we got the music in a usable state, I started writing the lyrics. As I was listening to our scratch track of the melody the idea came to mind of what it would be like to be waiting for a soldier stationed overseas. I kept thinking how I would feel if it were me waiting for someone. I did my best to put the emotions surrounding that situation into words.

“Dance with Me” words by Irene Nachreiner, music by Scott Martin

Scott Martin wrote the music and sent me a scratch track of the melody. I listened to it over and over again while there was a bunch of guys jack-hammering on my back patio. Somehow through all that racket the image of two people dancing came into my mind. I had been watching “Dancing With The Stars” and on the previous episode they were doing some particularly steamy rumbas. The words just started flowing and I wrote it down. I was surprised I was capable of writing such romantic lyrics because I’m such a practical down to earth sort of person. But there you have it. I’ve got an inner Lolita

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