Upon first meeting, Line Gøttsche seems with every word to exhale the opaline glaze of her first solo album’s fin de siècle piano tones, while simultaneously inhabiting the warm, unending glow of Copenhagen’s white nights.
Speaking in low tones, dancing with English, a deft commentator on music and musicality, she renders Duke Ellington’s approach to melody as a delicious phantasm of language.
Gøttsche honed this imbrication of speech, memory, and music while a student of language science at the University of Copenhagen, taking Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" as a thesis subject, and following those studies with experimental composition at CalArts with Michael Pisaro, before finally returning to Copenhagen to continue her educational path in the university’s Department of Linguistics. Her instinct for language and its entanglement with music and memory extends to the editing and translation of all kinds of civilian texts – "leaflets, brochures, articles, and placards", as Walter Benjamin would say – in her current job as a text-freelancer and art-book editor.
Recounting these texts’ mundane delights she lists:
"A proofreading of an alcohol company’s intern newsletter, the textual content for some malware fighter’s new web page, an SEO-text about winter tires, and a lovely blog post about all the world’s different kinds of baby carriages."
In words and music, Line Gøttsche envelops you and herself in her world, a world that, like Resnais's Last Year at Marienbad, consists of partial staircases spiralling to nowhere, French doors opening onto ivy-draped brick walls, an asymptotic woodland twilight in which the sun never quite sets.
Outlining the structure of her working process, she cites mornings of euphoria that wear off to afternoon fatigue, and a compendium of fruit
When speaking about her days working in a jewelry shop she says something jeweled.
When asked about her days in the choir of St. Clemens Church in which she sang hymns in the hills overlooking Randers, and its influence on her spirituality, she mentions gracefully the pulse of a universal syntagm whose suspended elision infuses itself into her lyrics' temporal disjunctions and the twists and turns of her piano melodies' surrealities.
When asked about her 3 years as the home school teacher of a musically precocious child who had suffered a severe brain injury shortly after birth, she describes with passion this job’s slow routines of exercises in walking, eating, speech, music, reading, categorization, and color theory, and how its dictating a kind of proustian repetitive slowness and dissection of everything into its tiniest elements felt natural to her.
Gøttsche is currently, besides juggling fruits for her upcoming release, playing live with her debut album “Omonia”.
“Omonia” was well-received by the European critics who wrote “inimitable intimacy” (Die Zeit), "melodies of oblique beguiling sorcery and looking-glass narratives of solitary heartache" (Mojo) and “songs designed to bewitch, with her piano lines describing deep and romantic arcs while her enigmatic lyrics overflow with arresting imagery (The Crack Magazine).
- Jason Grier