On the last weekend of August 2019, we were lucky enough to be invited to record this fantastic project with Polina Shepherd, Lorin Sklamberg and the four Brighton and London choirs that Polina runs. With over 50 people involved, it was the biggest recording session we've been involved in so far.
Below is Polina's article explaining the project:
'The Izba, the Shtibl and the Global Village' A unique project of Russian & Yiddish songs with the lead singer of the Grammy winning Klezmatics and a Siberian-born British singer and her four UK based choirs. Together they explore the connection between the Steppes and the Shtetl through folk and art songs in Yiddish and newly composed originals.
Polina Shepherd, Brighton Lorin Sklamberg, New York The Polina Shepherd Vocal Experience choirs: The London Russian Choir The London Yiddish Choir The Brighton & Hove Yiddish Choir The Brighton & Hove Russian Choir
Polina Skovoroda-Shepherd Polina is one of the first generation of musicians of the Yiddish revival scene in the former Soviet Union. Whilst living in Tatarstan, Russia and studying at the State Academy, Polina joined Russia′s first klezmer band after Perestroika, Simcha and toured in dark Soviet theatres in 1990-2000. Growing up in Kazan placed her close to Islamic ornamentation and timbre which can be heard in her unique vocal style. Now living in Britain, Polina continues to tour internationally as a Yiddish and Russian singer. Her compositions including music for theatre shows, large scale choir compositions performed by soloists and choirs all over the world. Lorin Sklamberg Lead singer of the Grammy winning Klezmatics, a leading exponent of Yiddish song and traditional Jewish vocal techniques. The legendary music critic Robert Christgau has described Lorin Sklamberg’s voice as “transcendent, ethereal and sensual,” … Since he co-founded the legendary klezmer group in 1986, Lorin Sklamberg has been on the receiving end of countless tributes of that nature—his crystalline, expressive vocalizing never fails to have an emotional impact on all within its range. He has also worked for the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research for almost 30 years, currently as its Sound Archivist. Lorin can be heard on some 50 CDs, and also composes and performs for film, dance, stage and produces recordings. Choirs: www.polinashepherd.co.uk/choirs/ Lorin and Polina Duo: www.polinashepherd.co.uk/projects/lp/ Lorin Sklamberg: klezmatics.com/about/members/lorin-sklamberg/ Polina Shepherd: www.polinashepherd.co.uk
Thanks to all the musicians involved for a really enjoyable recording day, and also big thanks to Julian Tardo at Church Road Studios for his help and expertise in making this recording. www.churchroad.net.
The recordings are supported by the British Library, and will be included in their archive.