Jerusalem-born Avital Raz has recently gained notoriety for her taboo-busting song lyrics. Her latest release ‘The Believer’, a collaboration with Scotland based cellist/ producer Pete Harvey (Meursault, The Leg), was reviewed in The Herald Scotland as ‘likely to be one of the most compelling things you hear all year’.
Last Year’s release ‘Infidelity’, recorded in Tel Aviv, was Raz’s farewell to her homeland. (‘In a roundabout way, using the image of a grim fucked up doll’s house the album deals with leaving Israel – and culminates with the song: Back in the Promised Land, with the chorus: Lord I’m Bored.’ – AmericanaUK.) ‘The Believer’ takes it up a notch, with racy tales of sex and politics.
Raz started out as a child singer of classical music. After completing degrees in vocal performance and composition, she shifted her focus to India where she studied the ancient art of Dhrupad singing with Prof. Ritwik Sanyal of Benares Hindu University.
This improvisational style led to a surge in creativity and Avital’s first album: Sad Songs About The End Of Love – 11 of James Joyce’s poems from Chamber Music composed mostly in Raag style and recorded in India and Israel with local musicians.
Unfortunately in 2004, Joyce’s work was still under copyright and the Joyce estate, finding the Indian connection too strange, denied Avital permission to release it. This blow prompted Avital to write her own lyrics and she subsequently released two EPs: Strange Love Songs and Skin & Feathers (‘utterly compelling songs that demand attention’ – Terrascope magazine).
Avital now lives in the NorthWest of England where she teaches singing and Indian Classical music as well as performing her own material and is half of the up and coming Electronica duo The Dirty Tactics.