Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

remembering Lhasa de Sela

January 7, 2010

The new year begins with the loss of a genuinely original voice in our world’s music.

Word has been slow to circulate, as the family mourns and final arrangements are made for the Montreal-based singer Lhasa de Sela. She was 37 when she died on New Year’s day after a long battle with breast cancer.

I discovered Lhasa’s music with her debut 1998 recording La Llorona. A friend who knew how much I loved the music of Violeta Parra suggested I might like Lhasa’s debut release, which had just come out. (The same friend turned me on Lila Downs. What would we ever do without our friends and the invaluable introductions like this that shape our listening lives?) I did enjoy it very much, appreciating in particular the intimacy and warmth of Lhasa’s singing and the strength of her songwriting.

Her 2003 followup recording, The Living Road, expands on the life experiences described in La Llorona as Lhasa’s own creative life flourished by moving to Marseilles. (She lived the rest of her life shared between France and Canada.) The Living Road is another solid collection of originals sung in French, Spanish, and English.

Lhasa’s final, eponymous recording was released last spring, and it’s her first recording sung entirely in English. I haven’t heard it yet. When I do, I know it will be with no small measure of sadness in realizing that Lhasa represents the final expression of an artistic spirit silenced far too soon.

The official obituary for Lhasa concludes with a line that is especially touching:

“It has snowed more than 40 hours in Montreal since Lhasa’s departure.”

playlist #82 (9/21/2009) – last day of summer!

September 21, 2009
Kailash Kher
World of Music
Pgm #82 – Fun in the Sun: welcoming tomorrow’s autumn equinox with the last summer world party music of the season
Listen Mondays 3-5pm EDT  – at 105.9FM in Burlington, VT or online at The Radiator
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Nas with Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry: Wake Up (It’s Africa Calling) / Open Remix / http://www.intrahealth.org/open/ (download) – (USA / SENEGAL)
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The Blind Boys of Alabama (with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band): Uncloudy Day / Down in New Orleans / Time Life 19548 – (N’AWLINS)
Marcia Griffiths: I Shall Sing / Truly / Heartbeat 11611 – (JAMAICA)
The Jolly Boys: Ripe Tomato / Sunshine ‘n’ Water / Ryko 10187 – (JAMAICA)
Rupa & The April Fishes: La Linea / Este Mundo / Cumbancha 15 – (SAN FRANCISCO, USA) *NEW – preview, not yet released! *
Kronos Quartet: Nihavent Sirto (Trad. Turkish) / Floodplain / Nonesuch 518349 – (SAN FRANCISCO /TURKEY) *NEW*
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Simone Lo Porto: Il Girasole (The Sunflower) / Italia / Putumayo 290 – (ITALY) *NEW*
Sidestepper: San Juan Good Vibe Mix / La Buena Vibra Sound System / Sony 88697 – (COLOMBIA)
Belgistan: Iggy Bop / Musiques et Danses du Belgistan / http://www.belgistan.be 1003 – (BELGIUM)
NG La Banda: No me Molestas Más / The Best of NG La Banda / Hemisphere 21391 – (CUBA)
Calypso Rose featuring Soft/Fred Deshayes: Summertime / Calypso Rose / CMG 2308 – (TOBAGO)
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Indian Ocean: Khajuraho / Kandisa / Times Music, India 1 – (INDIA)
Alicia Villareal: Pepe LePew / Cuando el Se Cruza / Universal    2264 – (MEXICO)
Rajery: Sofera / Sofera / Marabi 46820 – (MADAGASCAR)
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Ensemble La Perfecta: Jojo / Tumbélé / Soundway 17 – (GUADELOUPE) * NEW – preview – being released in early October *
Emily Loizeau: Dis-moi Que Toi Tu Ne Pleures Pas (Tell Me You’re Not Crying Anymore) / Pays Sauvage / Opendisc-Polydor 531407 – (FRANCE) *NEW*
Giorgio Conte: Gnè, Gnè / Il Contestorie / Historie di Note 30 – (ITALY)
Mariachi “Arriba Juárez”: Tenías Que Ser Tan Cruel / Gracias, Juan Gabriel! / Spartacus 27006 – (MEXICO)
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Emeline Michel: Moso Maman / Cordes et Ame / Cheval de Feu 1 – (HAITI)
Kailash Kher & Kailasa: Kar Kar Main Haara / Yatra (Nomadic Souls) / Cumbancha 14 – (INDIA) *NEW – preview, not yet released! *
Niyaz: Arezou /Niyaz / Six Degrees 657036 – (IRAN)
Ralph Thamar: Les Enfants du Soleil (Children of the Sun) / Mega Zouk / Stemra 3005012 – (FRENCH WEST INDIES)
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The Paul Butterfield Blues Band: Work Song / An Anthology-The Elektra Years / Elektra 62124 – (USA)
Tinariwen: Chet Boghassa / Amassakoul / Triban Union 14 – (WESTERN SAHARA)
Rokia Traoré: Koronoko / Tchamantché / Emarcy 530785 – (MALI)
Kaya: Sensé / Rough Guide to the Music of the Indian Ocean / Rough Guide 1086 –  (LA RÉUNION)
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