Singing is like flying: Sting Interview
By Ruchika Kher
Mumbai, Oct 8, For him, “singing is like flying” as it brings total freedom. Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner aka Sting says he has decided to re-arrange his old compositions the orchestra way because he feels it will give them a new lease of life.
“I learn something about a song every night I sing it. I have total freedom and this is really what I like. Singing is like flying. You can swoop, you can soar, you can go fast, you can go slow,” Sting told IANS in an e-mail interview from London.
The multiple Grammy winning English musician collaborated with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for “Symphonicities” that hit the stores in July this year and it offers some of his best songs.
“It’s like giving it a new set of clothes, the skeleton of the song remains the same. I wanted the orchestra to be used as a rhythmic instrument and give something new to the songs,” Sting said.
“What struck me about the Orchestra is that there are so many colours there in that palette. You can virtually do anything with it. So I started to delve deeper into my catalogue. We got about 40 songs arranged. I’d like to do more because in many ways it brings them back to life again. It’s like putting a new set of clothes on something.”
This is the 58-year-old musician’s 10th album. As a solo musician and member of The Police, Sting has received 16 Grammy Awards.
He is famous for songs like “Roxanne”, “Every Breath you Take”, “We’ll Be Together”, “Fragile”, “Be Still My Beating Heart”, “All This Time”, “You Still Touch Me” (June), “I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying”, “Brand New Day” and “Desert Rose” among many others.
Asked which is his favourite piece from the latest album, he said: “My current favourite in the set is ‘End Of The Game’, which was a very obscure song that I wrote maybe 10 years ago. It’s about a fox being chased by hounds. The arrangement is very exciting and it sounds really orchestral, and for me it’s a very moving song.”
Other songs in the album include “Next to You”, “Englishman in New York”, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”, “I Hung My Head”, “You Will Be My Ain True Love” and “Roxanne” among others.
“I was asked by the Chicago Symphony to provide an evening of entertainment with them for a benefit. I said yes to them because I like challenges.
“I’d worked with orchestras before – I’d done the Grammys with an orchestra and I’d always enjoyed it but never thought of putting a whole evening together. So I hired about 10 arrangers and said, ‘Look, choose a song from my canon, if you like, and see what you come up with.’ It’s from there that the idea of the album came up,” he said.
Prior to starting his solo career, he was the principal songwriter, lead singer and bassist of the rock band The Police.
The singer, who once collaborated with Indian artist Anoushka Shankar for his album “Sacred Love”, may visit India as part of a world tour to promote the album.
“With the release of ‘Symphonicities’, in the pipeline is a world tour featuring the backing quartet and a 45-piece orchestra,” said Sting.
(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)