Jazziam | Athalie de Koning

Jazz, band, singer, voice-over artist, chorus master

Our first album: CLOSE

After three years of traveling together, playing in venues all over Thailand, and a thrilling European Tour, we have finally launched our first album, Close. If you have never been to any of our live shows, you might want to check out this Interview in the Big Chilli, in which Athalie explains all about the concept behind this album. If you already have the album in hand, you are probably here to discover some of its secrets? Read on!

You received a black box with golden highlights containing several mysterious items. A treasure bag with hints about different songs on the album, as well as nine miniature cards with the lyrics to our songs, the band members' signatures, and beautiful artwork by Andy Somanas. The first mystery to uncover is that those nine cards can actually be pieced together into one big image - it's a puzzle! Go ahead and try putting them together and if you need help, just scroll down for the final image below. 


There it is! Andy Somanas designed the image in such a way that the edges are all blurred - in fact, you could piece it together differently, and it would still work. His idea behind this is that everyone has a story, and the songs we sing, the pictures of our present, the lyrics to our story, unfold and connect in a myriad of ways throughout our life. If you really want to delve deep into the imagery of our album, you can explore each card with the magnifying glass found in your treasure bag. We would love to hear what hidden messages you find in the artwork as you listen to our album. However, if you are not sure where to begin, you can use the hints below to guide your adventure for each song. Each title will have a brief description and a hidden easter egg for you to find in Andy's art. Go ahead, get Close. Let us know what you find! 

My Man, Piano -  this is a carefree tune about being so in love with music that you'd like to marry it. Does the spiral piano staircase lead to realms beyond, with a heavenly orchestra of endless playful tunes? Magnify: find a dancing piano with a smitten jazz lady.

Where is Sweet Love? -  Ah, the time when courtship still existed! Sweet picnics in the park, sipping a cup of tea while staring into each other's eyes. Magnify: find a serene picnic scene with teacups and a cute picnic basket. Also, the instrument you hear in this song is called a melodica. Can you find the melodica casually lying around in Andy's painting?

Wishing Time - As explained in several interviews, this haunting melody by Paul Bebington is about standing at a wishing well and giving up not one coin, but a hundred thousand, just to wish for another person's happiness. Athalie gave away 300 coins from her very own coin collection in order feel the pain of losing something that's truly precious to you, that you feel attached to. Audience members who bought the album each got a unique coin from Athalie's collection wrapped in velvet in their treasure bag. Magnify: there is a large bag of coins hidden somewhere around the wishing well.

Nah Sinatra: a happy tune that simply says "if you've got a voice, sing!" Frank Sinatra dances among huge pillars, not intimidated by the enormous world around him. The silver scented vial included in the treasure bag mainly represented Thailand, but its strong smell can be quite overwhelming. Some people loved it, while others said "nah..." Actually, the minty herbal scent opens up your sinuses so you can sing! Magnify: find the same Sinatra dancing somewhere else. He's a mini-sinatra. 

Tree Song: this song is about finding hope even when you don't feel strong. A bird, with such fragile feathers, can soar high above all obstacles. According to Emily Dickinson, "hope is the thing with feathers that perches on the soul." Magnify: how many birds can you find in all the cards?

One More: when we get to know someone up close, at a deep level, we discover their flaws. The magnifying glass signifies this scrutiny. Sometimes it takes more than just being in love to make a relationship work?sometimes it takes one more chance. Magnify: many of the trees in Andy's art contain special images and shapes. Find the secret messages hidden in all the flaws and scars of the trees. 

HIDDEN BONUS TRACK! Days Past: this gem by Paul Bebington, hidden on the album, is an instrumental without lyrics - let its melody and title evoke memories in you. Magnify: observe all the places where light plays a role - how does light affect the shadows, the colours?

Body Language: "There's no need to talk me through it, if you're capable, just do it!" No need to sit and think, no need to look or consider, just go out and do something good in the world. You can start by dancing. :) 

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