It has been such a pleasure to work with The von Trapps on our new record Dream a Little Dream, which was released on March 4th, and also to be performing all over the country with them these past few weeks. I fell in love with The von Trapps (the actual great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp) the first time I met them, two years ago now, when they joined Pink Martini on stage at the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the city square of our hometown of Portland, Oregon. I was inspired with immediate ideas about how they could expand and refresh their repertoire and grow into something bigger than what they already were, and that eventually led to the thought of making an album together. The idea of this collaboration was to help The von Trapps bridge the transition from being “The Sound of Music kids” to being what they are now, which frees them to be any number of things, to have a repertoire that was compatible with the past but also really forward-looking. We didn’t want to imprison or package or market them, we simply wanted to make a beautiful album that we all loved.
I adore The Sound of Music. I think that The Sound of Music is the last great optimistic American film, with incredible music and amazing drapes. Spending time with The von Trapps is like walking onto the set of The Sound of Music, but they’re not actors. They’re earnest in a genuine way, and untainted by trashy modern impulses. They possess a certain sort of exuberance and optimism and a willingness to try anything. This is Pink Martini’s 20th year, and at this point in my career I get so revitalized and motivated when collaborating with inspiring artists and guest musicians. Dream a Little Dream, from the beginning, was really a joy to work on, and being able to spend a month on the road with The von Trapps and introduce so many of Pink Martini’s fans to their bright and spirited music-making is the perfect culmination of the project.
Thomas Lauderdale – Pink Martini