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Light, Console Me

by Ana Silvera

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Ply my body, cold as ice Solace here, but I saw the first Light come over me, light console me Oh come back, close are the windows, bare… And when you come back home, ahhhh I … Listen to the river, it will guide you my door .. No sign, cold as ice… Solace here and no need to fight…
Pacing out this hallway Paper cup and bouquet Picking up the pieces of your mind Once you were a soldier Love, you had a good war But noone can defeat the march of time Sanctify this silence, can you hear me ? Magnify these hours so I see clearly … Remember when we walked in Santa Agnes garden Tungsten sun was blistering the sky Three taps and we’re there again, Far from these white walls, I never Thought this would be how we’d say goodbye Sanctify this silence, can you hear me ? Magnify these hours so I see clearly … Avalanche descending, This is not the ending This is not the ending
I am one of many, many we are one Hurled upon the ocean, howl of a storm Oh these nights, we have cursed and we have cried Tangled in the reeds before we’re swallowed by the sky Here I’m one of many, and as many we stand Face to face with all we cannot alter or command North star’s roaming, sun won’t rest Scatter stones and feathers, turn the earth blood red


Light, Console Me

For the losses in our time, a voice for the bereaved, a space to grieve.

All lyrics and music composed by Ana Silvera except Movement III : Mourning - instrumental music composed by Sefo Kanuteh, melody and lyrics by Ana Silvera.


released November 4, 2020

Dear Listener,

This piece is inspired by the Mourner’s Kaddish - an Aramaic prayer from the Jewish tradition. Mid- lockdown, I remotely co-composed this piece with kora master Sefo Kanuteh, our first recording together. The themes of grief and loss seemed relevant, given what was unfolding in the world.

For ages I’d wanted to write a piece about the ways we mourn, the ways we remember the dead. I've long been fascinated by the story of elephants who revisit the resting place of the matriarch, taking turns to touch and stroke the bones, forming their own kind of wake.

And in the human world, in my own life, I think of the rabbi who cut the silk scarf I wore around my neck at my mother’s burial over a decade ago, a ritual gesture that deftly acknowledged the rage, grief and finality that comes with loss. I think of the rocks or flowers we place upon gravestones. And the Ugandan friend kidnapped by the Lord's Resistance Army, whose family wrapped a banana stem in a white cloth tall as a man and buried it, believing he was dead and gone.

Scattered bones, a severed shoot, a pebble, a torn up cloth.

It seems that it runs deep in us, the need to turn what is so incomprehensible, huge and ungraspable into something small and tangible: a moment, an act, an object.

I turned this idea over in my mind as the lockdowns, closed borders, infection and death counts rose. And slowly, the work found it's own feet, and tongue. I listened to other artists' versions of or responses to the Kaddish: everything from the Hasidic Kaddish sung by a New York cantor, to Ravel, Barbara Streisand, Yemeni-Israeli diva Ofra Haza and of course, the wonderful Leonard Cohen - one of his final songs, You Want It Darker references the Kaddish in many interesting ways. (“You’re dying, but you don’t have to cooperate so enthusiastically with the process,” Leonard Cohen told The New Yorker a few years before his death between cigarettes and tequila. Legend).

The first song arose from an image of a hospital room giving way to a vast sky. I was seeing through the eyes of the patient, longing to give up the fight but held back by the memory of the ones they'd leave behind (Movement I: Departing). For the second song, I found myself in the shoes of that loved one, pacing up and down the hallway waiting for news (Movement Ii : Awaiting). And for the third and final song (based on a beautiful folk song from Sefo's tradition), I was one among a congregation of many ('oh these nights, we have cursed and we have cried/Tangled in the reeds before we’re swallowed by the sky'), finding comfort in the collective experience.

Later, Liv, who created the visuals for Light, Console Me, suggested we shoot an hour south of Copenhagen to an old limestone mine, Faxe Kalkbrud. The night before, I read that this mine was, 63 million years back, a huge web of coral, a sea bed 100 metres under the ocean that teemed with tropical life. And as we shot, the only sound other than the stormy wind, was of children chipping and chiseling the remains of these sea creatures - urchins, crabs, snails, ammonites, mosasaurs - who died longer ago than we can even begin to fathom. It seemed kind of apt. I hope these songs provide comfort, space to reflect, maybe even take you momentarily to another world,

With love,
Ana x

An Arts La'Olam #betweenspaces commission supported by Arts Council England

Voice, harmonium, synths, electronics - Ana Silvera
Kora - Sefo Kanuteh
Recorded by Ana Silvera
Kora recorded by Ben MacDiarmid
Mixed & mastered by Seán Mac Erlaine
Photos by Liv Anastasia Ikkala, assisted by Frederikke Valin.
Clothes by Maja Brix

With thanks to Daisy Lees, Rabbi Anna Posner, Peter Beckmann and Tue Lund-Christensen.
Dedicated to CS.


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Ana Silvera London, UK

'Stunning...magical storytelling' -The Guardian

Ana Silvera is a London-born singer- songwriter and composer whose folk and bluegrass-tinged tunes are lyrical, intimate and emotive, works of ‘lavish, vivid imagination’ (Metro). ... more

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