Gabi Hartmann: a voice that merges with the sea

Gabi Hartmann: a voice that merges with the sea
Gabi Hartmann

In the whisper of the sea are all the answers related to existence. The shore continues to be the starting point for those who seek to plunge into the depths of creativity, even when it means navigating through troubled waters."I write about how much it costs me to understand human relationships or make the right decisions in friendship or love." The words are from singer Gabi Hartmann, who describes the creation process of her homonymous album. "There’s a lot of influence from the water. The marine environment is in my writing, as well as in the constant search for sound."

Gabi Hartmann album cover

During this expedition, sailing into cinematic ambiances is the constant, where her compositions seem to be the perfect soundtrack for a movie still waiting to be filmed. "This album is a journey through nature, countries, cultures, and languages. It represents who I am: a mix of sweetness, sadness, and melancholy of the past." A travel log in which the first records date back to childhood. "I always lived in Paris, but in the summers, we went to the island of Corsica for like two months every year. That relationship with the beach and the mountains is still in my unconscious."

While studying politics and philosophy, the winds played in her favor, drastically changing her compass direction. "In my twenties, I moved to Rio de Janeiro to study. I lived there for two years, and I was amazed by the nature of the city. There I developed a strong relationship with the Earth and still think that its beauty lies in the fact that when you become conscious of your surroundings, you obtain the answers about life." In the sway of the waves from the coasts of Brazil, the connection with sounds and rhythms became stronger: "I was shocked to see how music was so important and part of the culture. In France, music is not in the streets, contrary to Brazil, people are very connected with dancing and singing, so you cannot ignore it."

Back into the cold waters of Europe, Gabi studied ethnomusicology in London. This musical exploration resulted in travels to Africa, Portugal, and New York, where she collected stories about love, loneliness, and hope. "Each song is a little world. I like mixing languages and singing about my contradictions and how to deal with them. Sometimes with a bit of humor, I have sadness, but I try never to be too heavy." Fourteen songs in which French, English, Portuguese, and Arabic are present.

In the immensity of the ocean, there is also room to sing about political and human coldness, "In 2015, a lot of immigrants came to Europe, and we had a lot of them in Paris, especially where I lived: there were a lot of camps with women and kids sleeping in the streets, it was crazy. At that time, I started to help them, being part of ONGs giving food, and organizing events with them. I was very involved in helping refugees, so I wrote the song 'La mer', which references the one of Charles Trenet."

On this voyage across the high seas, the guitar of Julian Lage as well as the flute of Ghandi Adam proves that the boat is heading in the right direction to reach a good port. The voice from Gabi Hartmann continues navigating between countries and periods. Her musical exploration will make sense each time someone pays attention to the whisper of the sea.