Paulette Verlée, the alter ego of Veerle Pollet, releases her new single ‘MEM’. The single gives listeners a first look at what’s to expect from Verlée’s forthcoming EP 'Les Barricades Mystérieuses' coming out on the 30th of June.
Paulette Verlée learned to play the piano at a very young age with the works of Bach and Schumann. For her first album, released last year, it was Erik Satie who formed the starting point. For her upcoming project 'Les Barricades Mystérieuses' the inspiration came from François Couperin. Under the spell of his “leçons de ténèbres”, she first made her idiosyncratic piano version of ‘MEM’. Then created new, own work based on his somewhat funny and mysterious titles of his ‘Pièces De Clavecin’.
“MEM is the fourth part of the ‘Troisième leçon de ténèbres pour le mercredi saint’,” Verlée clarifies. “The title immediately appealed to me. At first I didn't know what this strange word meant. It’s the Hebrew letter of the first word of the original text (the first lamentation of the Old Testament by prophet Jeremiah about the destruction of Babylon) used in the song. ‘MEM’ is also the only work of Couperin where I consciously borrowed thematic material from the original composition. The beginning and end are based on Couperin's first 8 bars; the middle part is newly composed.”
“'MEM' stands for the letter 'm',” Verlée continues. “To me ‘m’ is one of the softest and most meaningful letters of the alphabet. This letter alone can say many things. 'Mmm' can be used to approve or question something; it can sound wailing, comforting or very happy. I think that versatility is reflected in my version ‘MEM’.”
The forthcoming EP has become a refined collection of neoclassical music, with the recognizable touch of Paulette and this time with a musical wink to baroque music. Combining influences, Verlée shapes beautiful compositions and is ready to release a worthy follow-up to 2022’s ‘Choses Vues á Droite et á gauche (Sans Lunettes)’.
Listen to Paulette Verlée’s new single ‘MEM’ HERE.