In most musical collaborations, first come the lyrics.
Then these are set to music.
But not in Matzar – which has developed into a musical genre all of its own.
All songs have been composed in a minor key, or in the Dorian or Aeolian modes. After Maureen Hiron has laid down the tracks with Ingvar Nielsson in his and Sheyla Bonnick’s main recording studio, Sheyla steps in.
Not only as vocalist and lyricist, but also as co-composer, tweaking Maureen’s music better to fit her vocal style.
The motivating messages Sheyla weaves into her words are a further identifying feature of Matzar. Then Ingvar, Sheyla’s Icelandic husband, makes the arrangements that tie it all together.
This first Matzar music album is entitled Look Beyond.
Sheyla has already slotted one of the songs - Carry On – into Boney M gigs that she has performed in Russia and very well received it was too. So much so that it has now been translated into Russian and Sheyla is practicing.
The origins of the Carry On tune was embedded in a children’s operetta that Maureen wrote in her college days – some 50 years ago. It was centred on Skimbleshanks – the Railway Cat from T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and Maureen called her operetta Cats. Sounds familiar? But Maureen did it first.
Curious coincidence. Carol Nielsson, who starred in the somewhat better-known CATS musical some years back, was the first wife of Sheyla’s husband Ingvar.
With Maureen and Sheyla both writing songs and inventing games together, every game of theirs now has a Matzar song attached to it.