Photo by Linea Hansen Høiby
Since the release of debut album 'The Aviary' in 2012 (Karamel Music Collective), singer-songwriter Ana Silvera's work has garnered broad acclaim from audiences and critics alike. Recorded on both sides of the Atlantic, and featuring arrangements from Maxim Moston (Antony and the Johnsons), The Aviary has been described as 'haunting grown-up fairy tales' (Metro) and 'a stunning album' of 'magical storytelling' (The Guardian).
Raised in London, Ana's upbringing fostered a love of folk music as well as the art of storytelling and poetry from her mother who was a writer and teacher. After studying voice at Guildhall School of Music as a teenager, and then literature at University College London, Ana began to write and record her original music for the first time on the guitar whilst living in the hills of Ibiza. Later, her wanderings drew her to live for stints in Berlin, where she explored electronic music; to New York where she recorded a significant part of 'The Aviary' and collaborated with filmmaker Ryan Foregger on the eerie 'Hometown' video; and most recently to the serene beauty of Copenhagen with its lakes and spires for collaborations with local musicians.
In 2011, Ana was commissioned to write and perform a seven part song cycle entitled 'Oracles' for three successive nights at the Roundhouse Studios. Subsequently, Ana was invited back to the main stage of the Roundhouse, co-headlining with Imogen Heap for their 2012 Reverb Festival to perform Oracles plus a new commission written for the Estonian Television Girls Choir, “Step Onto The Ground, Dear Brother!” written alongside composer Max de Wardener. The sold out show - also reprised the following night at Sage Gateshead – was hailed as 'captivating' (Artsdesk) and Ana described as a 'rising star' (The Guardian). Oracles went on to be nominated for a British Composer Award in the same year. In 2013, Ana was invited to collaborate with the Royal Ballet to co-create, compose, and perform in a new full-length work entitled 'Cassandra'. 'Cassandra' was premiered at the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House in October 2014. In 2015, Ana's collaboration with early music ensemble Concerto Caledonia was released on Delphian Records.
2016 saw Ana expand her work into the areas of social justice, via a collaboration with London-based organisation Freedom from Torture for which she created a musical piece with torture survivors and went on to compose music and soundscapes for Ice & Fire Theatre company on a commission entitled
'What Do I Know?' about the Yemeni diaspora for the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, (premiered July 2018).
Other recent notable performances include the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Iceland Airwaves festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival and Union Chapel. In 2017, Ana's Winter EP, 'Arcana' - a mixture of original and traditional festive songs - was released in conjunction with an arts council funded UK wide tour in December as limited edition CD and digital download. On 6 July 2018, the live recording of "Oracles" was released as vinyl, CD and digital download via Gearbox Records and in 2019, Ana was invited to perform as an official showcase artist at Folk Alliance International, Montreal. Future projects include extensive Danish tour dates with Danish violin folk/jazz virtuoso Bjarke Falgren; Oracles tour dates in the UK and Germany; an album of Sephardic songs alongside double bassist Jasper Høiby and cellist Francesca Ter-Berg and an album of original new songs produced by Gerry Diver (Sam Lee, Lisa Knapp).
"There's both a lavish, vivid imagination and an intense intimacy at play in the music of Ana Silvera...altogether these are haunting, grown-up fairytales"
"Refined by Silvera's delicate and cerebral artistry, The Aviary is a joy"
- R2 Magazine
"Silvera's voice has a Björk-like spontaneity - an ability to be gritty and fragile one minute, warm, rich and ripe the next"
- Arts Desk
"Melodies that just wont leave you alone and a voice that tugs at your heart"
- Max Reinhardt, Radio 3
"Wonderful...modern folk...damned pleasing"
- The Quietus
operatic and folk elements with magical storytelling"
- The Guardian
"Ana Silvera is a poet who wraps her words in a style of music that is as personalised
as the stories she tells"
- Bearded Magazine
- The Scotsman
"Silvera applies a richly detailed aesthetic to her work... a multifaceted and utterly beguiling piece of art"
- Wears the Trousers
- Cerys Matthews, BBC Radio 6