A first record was released on the Sub Rosa label. She launched her solo career in 1992 and created the group Psamim guided by the desire to trace the course of Askhenaz songs in Hebrew and Yiddish. She selected a series of fairly unknown songs and recorded a second album on the Sub Rosa label (Ashkenaz Songs). This album consisted of traditional songs, authors’ compositions, and songs of war, love, and daily life, accompanied by the accordion (Martin Weinberg), violin (Renaud Lhoest), and viola (Johanna Samek).
Over the years her repertory has broadenend, with the addition of Oriental Jewish songs and Hebrew religious songs. She added the double bass and cello to bring new sounds to the instrumental accompaniment. Meanwhile, she was contacted by John Zorn, of New York, who commissioned a CD by the group that focused on instrumental music. This CD (Abi Gezint) was released in 1999 and offered Oriental songs in Hebrew, Judeo-Spanish, and Yiddish arranged for the accordion (Martin Weinberg), violin (Silvia Tentori Montalto), viola (Julia Ekhart), cello (Fabienne Van den Driessche), and double bass (Walter Poppeliers).
Shortly thereafter Zahava recorded her third album on the Sub Rosa label (Ashkenaz Songs II. Work and Revolution). It presented a selection of Yiddish songs about work, rebellion, and poverty. Most of the songs were arranged by Martin Weinberg. She collaborated with the Flemish writer Eriek Verpale, and together they proposed a concert cum meeting of song and literary texts. She also gave several concerts built around a selection of instrumental and vocal pieces in a more classical vein with the contemporary music ensemble QO2.
In 2002 the Flemish theater Beursschouwburg asked Zahava to put together a concert of 13th century Jewish religious music as part of a religious music festival. For this, she called on a series of musicians specialized in ancient music, such as Philippe Malfayt, Jurgen de Bruyn, Anne van Laethem, and Stéphan Pougin. As for the choice of music, she relied in part on a repertory that she had known since early childhood, the lyrics of which dated back to the 13th century, as well as presenting some little-known Jewish songs from the Middle Ages. In 2003 the organizer of the Moroccan Jewish Week commissioned a concert of Oriental Jewish music. For this, Zahava put together a new repertory and worked with the oud player Michael Grébil and hurdy-gurdy player Liam Fennely, among others.
A new recording – KOVED - A Tribute to Martin Weinberg – was released by Tzadik in March 2003. This was a compilation of songs in Yiddish, Hebrew, and Judeo-Spanish arranged by the accordionist Martin Weinberg, who passed away in 2001. Zahava was also asked by John Zorn to work on two compilations on CDs, one being a tribute to the Israeli composer Sasha Argov (released in 2003) and the other a compilation of John Zorn’s compositions under the name Masada (The Unknown Masada) (also released in 2003). This marked the beginning of a new group, ZOHARA, and a new project in which Hebrew poetry was the guiding thread. This new project gave Zahava an opportunity to work on the sounds of the Hebrew language and link the language of the bible to today’s world. The project strives to be more personal, with creation – the creation of new melodies and a new sound – in the foreground and more traditional elements in the background.
The vocals are also more varied, adapting to the nature of the text and composition (Tzadik CD, Scorched Lips, released in January 2005) ______________________________ Ongoing projects Today Zahava Seewald is working with two different bands, one focusing on developing the Oriental Jewish repertory and the other taking a more personal path that emphasizes creation. Oriental Jewish music The singer’s new group, Zahava Seewald & Ensemble, focuses on Oriental Jewish music. They present a varied repertory of unknown medieval Hebrew songs, songs from Morocco, and Judeo-Spanish songs. [Oud – hurdy-gurdy – percussion – baroque guitar – lute – cittern – vocals] Religious music This is a repertory of religious songs in Hebrew and Aramaic that come mainly from Ashkenaz tradition and are linked to celebrating the holy days and Shabbat in the home. [Oud – hurdy-gurdy – percussion – cimbalom – lute – cittern – vocals] ZOHARA Zahava Seewald and Michael Grébil’s idea is to set to music the texts of great Hebrew poets from the Middle Ages to the present. This project is also a more personal one. The main emphasis is on the creation of new melodies and a new sound, with more traditional elements in the background.
The main themes that the poems express are introspection, intimacy, and doubt. This project has already culminated in a CD on the Tzadik label, Scorched Lips, that was recorded at the end of 2004. [Oud – bass guitar – oboe – bass clarinet – English horn – sopranino saxophone – baritone saxophone - cittern – accordion - electroacoustic music – vocals] L’ENTREPOT DES APPARITIONS In 2004 the musicians Fabrizio Rota (electroacoustic music) and Jean-Jacques Duerinckx (saxophones) asked Zahava Seewald to join them in a project of musical improvisation around texts chosen by the singer. The result is contemporary and alive. The principle of creation is intuitive: the compositions are woven around the singer’s voice, electroacoustic output, and saxophone, and can crystallize in open structures that can be adapted more readily to the settings and moods of the performance venues. CONCERTS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES Zahava Seewald has given many concerts in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.
She has also performed at the Sfinx Festival, Dranouter Folk Festival, International Jewish Music Festival in Antwerp, and Women’s Voices Festival in Liège. Zahava Seewald has given a number of workshops on traditional Jewish singing and talks on the history of Jewish music. She is also currently working with the artist Anna Torf on Eisler’s music. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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