Torsten is a highly theatrical and moving song-cycle of lyrical postcards from the hotspots of an outsider’s memory; memories from a life lived as a semi-immortal, learned sensualist. Andy Bell as ‘Torsten’ sings deeply affecting expositional songs, merging the boundaries of genre, that incrementally illuminate his extraordinarily mysterious life as a man disconcerted by his own bizarre experience of the nature of passing time. The songs effortlessly combine pop and theatricality in their lush arrangements and Andy’s voice has never been so dramatically expressive.
Torsten is an ‘everyman’ for our times; a prophet of longing, loss and love ever after. He has had, over time, many lovers and friends whom ultimately he has outlived. That he himself survives is a bittersweet truth, but it is with an increasingly melancholic emotional distance from people.
Andy Bell states, “Torsten seems to me like a dream that has come true! I was told the piece was especially written with me in mind and I really believe that! So many aspects of the various songs resonate with parts of my life so I know I was there / am here! There is a melancholic beauty held within the songs and I think I’ve had enough heartache and painful soul searching to do them justice but have managed to retain a certain naïveté in spite of these experiences! Torsten bears witness to these scars.”
Andy explains, “I love my Torsten …… Even more now that he is becoming slightly unhinged…. Unravelling before our very eyes! I don’t believe that his spirit will ever be broken though.
copyright © 2016 Christopher Frost
Written as a collaboration between Andy Bell, poet playwright Barney Ashton-Bullock and the musical genius of Christopher Frost.
(Monika Izabela Trigwell - The Electricity Club, 9 April 2019)