Efterladt – a Danish word that means both “abandoned” and “left behind” – is a posthumously released spoken word album featuring the Polish-Danish author Janina Katz’ last readings made shortly before her death in October 2013. Already then the plan was to produce an album with a musical setting – however, at the time no one knew how ill she was.
During 2014 Martin Hall continued to work on the project, assisted by the project’s original initiator, journalist and writer Søren E. Jensen, and it is this work that is now finally ready to be released in its final form. The album is produced and musically staged by Hall.
Among the musicians on Efterladt you’ll find several artists featured on Hall’s latest solo album, the critically acclaimed Phasewide, Exit Signs – names such as Greek-English pianist Othon Mataragas (probably best known from his works with names such as Marc Almond, Current 93 and Peter Christopherson from Coil and Throbbing Gristle), the young Danish musician Linus Carlsen, producer and visual artist Christian Skeel as well as The Vista Dome Ensemble.
You can pre-order the album and read much more about the release here.
Janina Katz was born in Krakow. She lost most of her relatives in the Plaszow concentration camp in Poland from which she was smuggled out in 1943, three years old. As an adult Katz studied Polish literature and sociology at the Jagielloński University in Krakow, but left Poland in 1969. After a short stay in Germany she moved to Denmark where she made her debut as a writer at the age of 52 – 22 years after her arrival. During her authorship she released 18 books, novels as well as poetry. Her writing especially reflects her Polish Jewish origin and experiences during World War II.
In 1993 she received the National Arts Foundation prize for best novel, My Life as a Barbarian. In 1998 she received the Beatrice Award and in 2002 she was awarded the National Arts Foundation grant for life. In 2012 she was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize for his poetry collection Written in Polish.
Janina Katz died on October 18, 2013, at the age of 74.
Portrait taken by Piotr Topperzer.