It was shortly after my Featured Artist interviews started, that I received a comment on an interview from a Cabaret singer from Durham, NC. by the name of Ellen Ciompi. She was full of praise and admiration for my support of local musicians. Ellen moved from those compliments, right into asking how someone could be considered for an interview. I wrote back explaining how I focused on artists who write and perform their own music and so wasn't sure that she would quite fit into that picture. I soon received another passionate and eloquent e-mail pointing out that there would be a lot of songwriters whose works may never have been heard, were it not for musicians, and more specifically, singers like herself to perform their compositions for them. She presented ideas that were well thought out and spoke with confidence and conviction. I was impressed with her enough that I wanted to find out more abouth this person, so we went about setting up a date to do an interview.
Ellen's intention to perform in the open mic at The Showcase of Original Music made it possible for me to arrange for our interview to take place in the library at The Creative Center where the Showcase is hosted. We met in the late afternoon on Saturday January 19th 2013 to talk. Ellen was a delightful guest and we had our share of smiles and laughs during our chat, which you will see.
Recalling how she first contacted me, I get her to talk more about her tenacious personality, which she ascribes to not liking to sit still. She makes a good point about the fact that though she does not write her own music, she does give the songs she performs her own touch and therefore makes them unique in her own way. I acknowledge that without singers like herself, there are some song writers who might never have been heard.
As the interview continues, my curiosity gets the best of me and I ask about whether there are song writers out there writing in the Cabaret style, or specifically for Cabaret singers, which lends itself to her sharing some insights into the way she interprets music, the selections she makes and the process that goes on with her musical partner Glenn Mehrbach. Having little background in the field, I find it all very fascinating. I ask her one final unscripted question as our time winds down. You'll have to watch to see what it is and how she responds. I hope you enjoy listening to Ellen as much as I did.
Some Links of Interest, Mentioned in our Talk:
- Harry Belafonte
- Frank Sinatra
- Tony Bennett
- Ciompi Quartet
- Duke University
- UNC Chapel Hill
- The Metropolitan Room
- Regulator Bookshop
- Glenn Mehrbach
- Andrea Marcovicci