IDOL Session: Natascha Rogers

To mark the start of spring, we invited composer Natascha Rogers for a IDOL session, an opportunity to discover her new album Onaida in an intimate setting.

This is already the fourth time that IDOL has welcomed a Nø Førmat! artist for a session. As Pascal Bittard says, “it’s a label we grew up with”. The percussionist came to present her new album Onaida to the Pass Nø Førmat! audience members and a few hand-picked VIP guests.

Natascha Rogers enters the room, bells accompanying her hushed steps. She settles in behind her drums and keyboards, intones a spiritual chant and opens the set with ‘See‘, a melody addressed to Mother Nature that blends pop and Native American chants. She follows up with ‘Aniafa‘, a song she tells us she wrote as a tribute to the source of precious water, a connection to the feminine, to Yin.

The percussionist then moves on to ‘O Baba‘, and asks us to clap our hands to give her a rhythm as she launches into a percussive jam. With her infectious smile, she manages to get the still, somewhat shy, crowd on board, inviting them to sing of hope on ‘Sacred Night‘. “It’s too good to be true!” she exclaims, touched by the confidence the audience has shown her.

Natascha Rogers pauses and asks if anyone in the room has a plastic bag. Before our eyes, she records a loop, playing with it, and launches into a new song, in English, French and Spanish, about the road we’ve traveled and the doubts we sometimes feel along the way… An absolutely magical moment.

After telling us about her dreams on ‘Tambor‘, playing her batá from Cuba, Natascha Rogers opens up on ‘Ashes‘, which questions life and death. Her song causes pain, takes us into darkness, then lulls us back to light and hope.

After thanking everyone involved, Natascha Rogers closes her concert with ‘The West‘, inspired by the poems of the Native American Joy Harjo and composed with Piers Faccini, about the importance of direction. This IDOL session was more than a performance, with every note and rhythm transporting us through emotions, cultures and languages. It was a real journey.

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