The CD developed and grew over a period of more than a year starting with the title track, “Rooiwynliefde”, a song celebrating enduring love, the lyrics born from the pen of Marianne Venter (for Marius), her husband and put to music by Christa Steyn, one of SA’s great songwriters and musician s – then the song seized my heart and after a music video was shot in August 2011, on the magical Deetlefs Wine Estate in Rawsonville over three days by remarkable filmmaker Leon in conjunction with HH Productions (a wonderful creative process), it became clear that this was the CD’s title track… The CD features nine of my own songs and a new French/Afrikaans version of “Sonkring” and “Tolbos in die Wind” – songs which I wrote at the beginning of my career and brand new songs “Goodbye to the Living”, “Quasi, quasi blu”, my first Italian/English song, “Seasons of the Heart”, the first collaboration with my mother, Joan, writer and former journalist, “Die Trein het jou kom haal”, the music for which only came to me five years after the lyrics were born, “Citizen” written in London as far back as ’98 which proves again that a song sees the light when the time is right.
Five other songs are featured and were eventually chosen after approaching and receiving songs from many great, well-known and unknown songwriters, Bruno Andries, Belgium born songwriter whose captivating lyrics for “Bonnie and Clyde” were put to music by Karen Zoid in the unique way she can, creating a song about dark, obsessive love, three iconic Afrikaans poems, put to music, “Katrina van die Bo-Kaap” (music, Lizanne Barnard of Marimba fame and the first pianist I worked with 20 years ago) – thank you Lizanne); “Diep Rivier”, the classic poem by Eugene Marais set to music by Eugene Vermaak, superlative songwriter and; “In die Hoëveld”, another classic poem written by Toon van den Heever and set to music by the great contemporary songwriter, Philip Nel. Finally; “Innocence Lost” by my childhood friend and inspired songwriter, Teresa Hely-Hutchinson – we started to create music together when we were growing up – a haunting song full of longing and her second one to appear on one of my CDs.
These songs would be nothing without the life that was blown into them with the brilliant artistry and remarkable inventive creativity of David Jooste’s production and arrangements. I experienced this the first time with the CD “Divided Heart”, but with this CD David has surprised me and surpassed himself in the studio- thanks for the remarkable journey, David! This CD was recorded and engineered again by my friend of 19 years, I met with my tape – “Piaf and Just a Little Me”, César d’Almeida. – his incredible “ear”, sheer musicality, turns ideas into vibrant songs which come fully into their essence… This CD, “Rooiwynliefde” would also not have reached the heights and variety it has without the mastery of Mauritz Lotz on guitar – from acoustic to electric – his genius transforms songs making them evocative, playful, sublime or powerful.
Our paths first crossed with “Winde van Verandering” (Anton Goosen’s famous album) and now, at last, he has left his mark on “Rooiwynliefde”. This CD is a crossover for me from my previous CDs with its commercial, electronic yet acoustic sound. Once again I would like to thank the Creator for giving me the gift of song and all my friends, fans and family for supporting and believing in me and spurring me on. Press Comment. “Rooiwynliefde is a splendid CD by a great local artist … features nine of her own songs including Seasons of the Heart, a song which started as a poem by her mother Joan.” Pretoria News “Her voice is a rich versatile instrument with a seductive bass note that many female singers are unable to reach.” CD Sounds “Rooiwynliefde was ‘n vrugbare oesjaar vir Helena. Mens kry die gevoel die wingerd is gefynkam en die druiwetrosse is een-een met die hand uigesoek. Deur alles dra Helena se stem elke snit met die donker kleur van ‘n goeie pinotage waardeur ‘n sonstraal val.” Anna-Retha Bouwer – Beeld.