She sings like no other. Sadness, joy, longing, mournfulness, all contained in a voice so powerful yet so contained. How can one voice hold all these emotions?
Mor Karbasi burst onto the global world music scene in 2008 with the release of her first album and has continued to capture audiences internationally with her exceptional talent, a result of her stunning voice and impressive stage presence.
Mor was born and raised in Jerusalem to a mother of Moroccan origins and a father of Persian ancestry. Her music is influenced by several cultures, though mainly by her Jewish heritage.
‘My grandfather, shalom, is a great inspiration to me. Ever since I can remember, he would always hum melodies that, as a child, at first sounded unfamiliar to me, yet so familiar all at once. Whenever we went to visit my grandparents in Nazareth, my eyes and ears would follow him as he restlessly walked through the house at night humming beautiful melodies, haunting melodies, opening the windows and singing to an unknown listener.
It was only later in life that I learned that he was singing pyiutim, which I later went on to study myself. This led me to realize that the unknown listener from my childhood was in fact his homeland of Morocco, which he had never left in his heart. He was singing to his deceased ancestors, important rabbies of morocco, and calling for their guidance and protection.’
Mor feels very close to her Sephardic roots. The Jews were forced to leave Spain in the 15th century as a result of the unification of the two main Catholic Spanish kingdoms and the defeat and expulsion of the Moors. The Jews that left Spain spread out into a far-reaching Diaspora, taking with them the Spanish language of the time, and continued to speak it in their closed communities. Interspersed with some Hebrew and the various Mediterranean languages of the countries where they settled, this led to the creation of a Judeo-Spanish tongue called Ladino.
‘I have always felt such a strong unexplainable connection to Spain and its language, and at the same time to my Moroccan and Jewish ancestry. Ladino, the ancient language of the Jews that were forced to flee Spain in the 15th century simply unifies and has aspects of all these loved elements.’ Indeed, Mor’s influences come together in her predominately Sephardic Jewish repertoire: from traditional Jewish songs, to her own contemporary compositions.
‘All of these were sung by mothers to their children for generations and this is how they survived. It makes me understand that I am part of a very long lineage of beautiful, powerful women. It makes me feel there is no limit to what I can express and bring to my music and listeners.’
A £1 transcation fee applies
7.30pm (doors open 6.45pm)
Kindly supported by Salisbury Arts Centre Business Members