Berkson, Judith - Oylam

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"Ekon av klassisk pianomusik samtalar spirituellt med jazzstandards, judisk musik i olika former och något man skulle kunna kalla atonal bebop. Filtrerat genom Berksons egensinniga sång och distinkta spel på orgel och piano (akustiskt, elektriskt) ges musiken ett avskalat, kärvt och originellt uttryck."
(Svenska Dagbladet)

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"Oylam" means "world, universe, creation, reality, realm" and the ECM debut disc by Judith Berkson, a solo album in the literal sense, is an invitation into a world truly her own. Recorded in Udine, Italy, in 2009, "Oylam" finds singer/composer/keyboardist Berkson (born 1977) performing her own idiosyncratic songs. She also sets her own English lyrics to Franz Schubert's "Der Leiermann", from the "Winterreise" cycle, sings jazz standards by Cole Porter ("All of You") and George & Ira Gershwin ("They Can't Take That Away from Me"), Yiddish folk song from the Polish-born poet Mordekhai Gebirtig ("Hulyet, Hulyet") and Jewish cantorial music (the riveting "Ahavas Oylam").

It is Berkson's commitment that makes this ostensibly divergent programme into one music: in many ways the repertoire reflects Judith's history. As well as being a singer of experimental music, she is also rooted in traditions. A cantor and teacher of liturgical music at Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation in New York, she counts cantorial music and Hebrew liturgy amongst her earliest inspirations. "My father taught me how to sing the prayers, the chanting and the glossing, and I liked that immediately." From the age of five she studied classical piano, and as a teenager was drawn to the experimental composers, "the atonalists, the avant-gardists, the people working with extended technique. I liked the challenge of that", while simultaneously working at her studies of art songs from Schubert to Brahms to Schoenberg. At the New England Conservatory she studied voice with Lucy Shelton, theory and composition with Joe Maneri, and piano with Judith Godfrey and Viola Haas. All of these experiences have contribute to the music Berkson makes today.

After singing and playing in jazz and experimental bands and rock groups, including several of her own ensembles, Judith has refocused her energies in solo performance, looking anew at the possibilities for voice with piano accompaniment. "I've worked with some very talented players in bands - bands in which I was the singer - and still found it hard to convey the specific qualities I wanted to hear in my songs. Round about 2003 it gradually began to dawn on me that I should be my own accompanist. I've been trying to redefine, for myself, what that might mean, exploring new ways in which voice and piano can be combined and performed by one person, working on all the different possibilities of rhythm, melody, harmony, texture and so on. As I did this I was also asking myself some key questions: what is my style? What am I trying to express in music? What do I want to emphasize?. I practised very rigorously, wrote new music only for voice and piano, and came out of this period feeling stronger and more self-confident than I had previously. I also discovered that there were ways to integrate aspects of all the music that is important to me in the solo work"
Artikelnummer ECM2121
Streckkod 0602527189543
Utgivningsdatum 2010-04-26
Kategori Jazz
Skivbolag ECM
Enhet CD
Antal enheter 1
Artister Berkson, Judith
Disk: 1
1 Goodbye Friend Number One
2 Brute
3 Inside Good Times
4 Clives
5 All Of You
6 Mi Re Do
7 Ahavas Oylam
8 Little Arrows
9 Der Leiermann
10 Fallen Innocent Wandering Thieves
11 They Can't Take That Away From Me
12 Burnt
13 Hulyet, Hulyet
14 Goodbye Friend Number Two
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