What if Louis XIV were living today and curated his court composers with musicians like Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey, or Adele?
Using 17th century French songs as inspiration Emi Ferguson’s debut album Amour Cruel, does just that, fusing together old instruments with modern styles and production to create an album full of soaring vocals accompanied by lush flutes, sparkling guitars, and a killer beat.
Emi Ferguson Spins Tales of Love Gone Bad With New Bilingual Album,
For renowned musician Emi Ferguson, the lines between classical and pop music have long been blurred. As a vocalist and Juilliard trained flute player, one of her primary goals is to show that the lines we draw between genres are entirely of our own creation and largely 20th and 21st Century concepts. This was Ferguson’s approach when she wrote and recorded Amour Cruel, an 11-song album in French and English, inspired by French compositions dating back to the 16th Century. The album is set for release on September 14th through Arezzo Music.
Ms. Ferguson imagined how these compositions would sound if they were produced as pop, R&B, jazz, folk, new age and world music. She envisioned modern versions of these French songs with artists such as Andrew Bird, Adele, Kanye West, or Arcade Fire performing at Versailles in the 17th Century.
“There is a thirst for an album of this nature,” said Ms. Ferguson of her first vocal album. "Amour Cruel will resonate with people who might not necessarily listen to classical music, let alone early French Baroque songs. It pays homage to Early Music while combining it with contemporary Baroque Pop.”
The lyrics of Amour Cruel are a mixture of English translations and original and pre-18th Century French poetry—each telling stories of tragic, unrequited, and lost love, often drawing reference to antiquity. Many of the lyrics speak to the influence of the Renaissance striving for the artistic ideals that were thought to be present in the golden age of antiquity. With Amour Cruel, Ms. Ferguson deconstructed and rebuilt songs of the past, turning them into works that resonate with today's audience.
“I assembled a team of musicians, who are virtuosi in several genres, and we fused the sounds of old instruments and new,” Ms. Ferguson added. “We created a unique sound with a depth of diversity that will inspire audiences today – theorbos and electric guitars, baroque flutes and drum sets.