mother tongue:
Jonathan Byrd & the sentimentals

mothertongueproject.com


JONATHAN BYRD & THE SENTIMENTALS' new project "Mother Tongue" is a Danish-American collaboration. We explored Søren Kierkegaard and Bob Dylan to find a lyrical language, so that we could write songs that held together on an album. We read and listened. We recorded ideas and emailed them to each other. Kierkegaard praised and used Danish, his "mother tongue." He broke through the language barrier with the power of his ideas. Dylan used hymns and folk songs to get a new kind of lyric over. They wanted to be heard on their own terms. Dylan and Kierkegaard forced opposing elements into a single idea, "…to separate what is inseparably joined in order to put it together again," says Kierkegaard. Dylan sings, "to live outside the law you must be honest." "I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now." They build a house of hope on a foundation of despair. Kierkegaard, "Into this night of hopelessness (it is death that we are describing) comes the life-giving spirit and brings hope, the hope of eternity." Dylan says, "When you got nothin you got nothin to lose." With a foundation of these related themes, MC Hansen (of The Sentimentals) and Jonathan Byrd laid a mosaic language for Mother Tongue. MC sings in English, which seems paradoxical, but it is in the spirit of Mother Tongue. English is an international language. MC wants to be heard on his own terms. On the Mother Tongue project, The Sentimentals create room for the songs. The music respects the lineage of the ideas. There is space for thoughts and a human heartbeat. The mother tongue is personal and universal. The Mother Tongue project is a sort of audio handshake and international conversation between philosophy and rock 'n' roll.