Press Release

Date: Thursday 1st October

 

Mourner’s Kaddish-inspired Song Composed as part of ‘Lockdown’ Arts Programme, #betweenspaces 

 

In a new composition, international singer songwriter, Ana Silvera, draws on her Sephardic Jewish heritage and takes inspiration from the Mourner’s Kaddish – the prayer traditionally recited in memory of the dead – to create a song for mourners in our time. Commissioned by Arts La’Olam as a Covid-19 legacy work, the new song [add song title] is released on Thursday 1st October 2020. Listen to the song [add direct link to the audio].

Ana was invited to be part of the Arts La’Olam summer-long #betweenspaces global music and arts programme. Her sensuous and haunting vocals coupled with a unique lyrical delicacy makes her the perfect custodian of an important project that gives a voice to the bereaved and a space to grieve. 

Ana has performed her ethereal brand of alt-folk at countless festivals and major venues including SXSW, the Roundhouse, Iceland Airwaves and Copenhagen Jazz Festival on the back of her two critically acclaimed albums, The Aviary and Oracles. 

Featuring Master Kora player, and composer in his own right, Sefo Kanuteh from Gambia, thematically and collaboratively, the song is a work that seeks to achieve true global resonance.

Sefo is a virtuosic, soulful and authentic kora and balafon player, whose accomplishments are evident from his rich cultural DNA and impressive collaborations with some of Africa’s most successful artists. His major projects include working with Baba Maal and at the Théâtre National Daniel Sorano, Dakar Senegal. 

The song is available to listen to on Thursday 1st October at anasilvera.com/kaddish

For more information on this Ana’s song and the #betweenspaces programme, visit Arts La’Olam website or contact Daisy Lees on 07990802776.

 

Ends

 

Press enquiries:

Elma Glasgow on 07738004670 or hello@elmaglasgowconsulting.com.
 

About #betweenspaces

In early summer, Arts La’Olam, based in Ipswich in Suffolk, was awarded a generous grant from Arts Council England to launch a virtual programme of events, commissions and participatory online workshops that address social isolation, and to bring families and people of all ages together in a spirit of creative celebration, and to create legacy artworks that commemorate curious and crucial times. 

#betweenspaces seeks to close the gaps and inequalities we may be feeling acutely right now.

During the corona virus pandemic the Arts La’Olam mission to bring global arts and music to communities has repositioned to the digital environment. The programme has national reach, with some activities moving into live events at later dates in the East of England.

Eight dedicated projects with artists, working in new and innovative ways, have brought the life-enhancing energy of the arts into homes between June and October this year. 

About the Mourner’s Kaddish

The Mourner’s Kaddish, also known as the Mourner's Prayer, is a prayer for loved ones who have passed away. It focuses on life, tradition and honour of family in the Jewish faith. At 2,000 years old, reciting the Kaddish is seen as a true act of kindness. The prayer is said every day for 11 months after a parent dies, and again on the anniversary of their death.

 

Ana Silvera’s Biography

 

Raised in London, Ana Silvera’s upbringing fostered a love of storytelling from her writer-teacher mother and a love of folk and traditional music from her father. Drawing on rich wells of melody and myth as well as her own eventful life, Ana’s songs are vignettes, poignant snapshots in time that weave words and music to magical effect.

 

Early 2020 saw the completion of Ana’s next studio album, which was created with award-winning producer and multi-instrumentalist Gerry Diver (Sam Lee, Lisa Knapp) and features a host of other stellar musicians including Pete Flood (Bellowhead) and Jasper Høiby (Phronesis). This year also marked the launch of Yja, a new Ladino song project with

cellist Francesca Ter-Berg, plus further touring of original tunes with Danish violin virtuoso Bjarke Falgren. 

 

In 2019, Ana was invited to perform in Canada for the first time as an official showcase artist at Folk Alliance International, following the release of her acclaimed album, ‘Oracles’ (Gearbox Records), a poignant, dreamlike song-cycle that explores themes of loss, rebirth and acceptance. 

 

The piece was originally written as a way to transmute intense grief into a cathartic work of art following the sudden death of her closest family members. As Ana said, “I wrote ‘Oracles’ in a state of absolute urgency and emergency – it felt like I had been buried in the ground myself, and writing this music was a small pocket of air, my chance to breathe again”.

 

The album was launched to a packed house and rapturous applause at the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre and subsequently included on The Guardian's 'Critics List'. CLASH described the album as ‘a rare commitment to art' and Radio 4’s Alex Preston (Saturday Review) as ‘some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard...intelligent, lyrically complex and interesting’.

 

Ana first began writing songs as a teenager whilst she was studying voice and piano at Guildhall School of Music, and later developed her poetical lyric style whilst studying English Literature at University College London. Her debut album, ‘The Aviary’ (2012), featuring arrangements by Maxim Moston (Rufus Wainwright, Antony and the Johnsons), was lauded as a work of ‘lavish, vivid imagination’ (Metro). In the same year, Ana was invited to perform as a soloist on the main stage of the Roundhouse, in her self-composed commission for the Estonian Television Girls Choir, “Step Onto The Ground, Dear Brother!”.

 

Other career highlights include collaborating with the Royal Ballet to co-create, compose, and perform in a full-length work entitled 'Cassandra"; the release of Purcell's Revenge", a collaboration with early music ensemble Concerto Caledonia (co-featured with folk singers Olivia Chaney and Jim Moray); and forays into composing music and soundscapes for theatre, including works "Lost and Found” (2017) and 'What Do I Know?' (2018) with human rights theatre company, Ice&Fire. 

 

Ana has toured widely across Europe, and performed at prestigious venues such as Royal Opera House, Liverpool Royal Philharmonic, Jazzhus Montmatre, Rockwood Music Hall and at festivals including SXSW, Folk Alliance International, Iceland Airwaves Festival and Copenhagen Jazz Festival. Airplay on UK national radio includes Cerys Matthews Show (R6), The Verb and In Tune (R3), Max Reinhardt (R2) and German radio including NDR and SWR Radiophon.