Last call for love

Album of thirteen songs recorded in Paris. Voice & songs by Sandra Zemor.
Music composition, arrangements, recording, production, realization by Ronny Gold.
Violin Violin by David Naulin Milstein, Clarinet by Yuri Shraibman.
© Sandra Zemor 2021SZ Prod © SACEM SZ2021- ADAGP

Clarinet by Yuri Shraibman
Ronny Gold music composition realization recording & production
Violin by David Naulin Milstein

When I met Sandra Zemor, I was immediately struck by her ability to make art of everything and by the fire and embers I perceived in her presence and heard in her voice, a voice that is also full of sky. The songs of Last Call For Love are like her.They change the world into poetry and they contain, beneath their popish surface, something that will set your soul on fire. It’s there, somewhere between the unfolding of that sensitive voice and the melodic formula they borrow from the nigunim. Sandra Zemor, therefore, is a fire starter.
She’s also a tightrope walker. Together with her collaborator Ronny Gold, she has created a sonic universe where traditional Jewish Breslov melodies secretly marry electro rhythms, a classical piano and a very original art of murmuring. Along the lines of this formula, the singer speaks to us in a very low voice and invites us to walk with her into the mysterious heart of things. The result is those captivating songs, songs that just won’t leave us in peace.
From one text to the next, Sandra Zemor invites us into a world where houses are made of sand and clouds, where lovers dance on tears and we walk through the night on a narrow bridge. She speaks of wounded birds, of the last calls of love and of the inexhaustible sensuality held in each day. The sacred cracks of the world and our souls are never far away. And salvation wait for us everywhere– in the unfold- ing of a melody, or in a metaphor that sets us on fire. As we said, Sandra Zemor is a fire starter. And a tightrope walker.

From one song to the next, she teaches us the delicate art of walking on the most tenuous threads of existence – those that separate our nights from our days; those that separate the earth from the sky or lovers from angels.
And therefore, as will be clear to anyone, the songs of Last Call for Love are inevitably charged with a great spiritual force. We feel it in that voice, which is both angelic and rough, where creative breath (Rouah) and divine consolation (The Shekinah) intersect, a voice that could be that of Jung’s Anima, but which might just as well arise from the depths of ourselves. A voice that is both hers and our own. We also feel a spiritual thrust in the journey that Sandra offers us. For that voice makes us travel. We circulate with it between inner callings and the callings of the world (and the songs do indeed take us wherever in the world Sandra – a great traveler – goes), but we also circulate between traditions – especially those of Jewish mysticism and Hassidism. In particular, the singer pays tribute here to two great masters she knows very intimately: Rabbi Nahman of Breslov who inspires several songs and Leonard Cohen with four iconic songs covered here with a rare intensity. And yet, the singer hands over her wisdom without insisting, with a very precise blend of gravity and lightness, never losing the necessary grace of one walking on melody. As we said, Sandra Zemor is a tightrope walker.

In the video for the song “The Narrow Bridge”, Sandra walks on the edge of a stone wall in the golden light of sunset on an island where Leonard Cohen had lived a long time. It seems she arises from one of her songs or one of her drawings, because her music is part of a larger approach where her work as a singer, as a painter and video maker merge into what Hölderlin called a poetic inhabitation of the world a world that she keeps exploring, in her ceaseless travels between France and Israel, Ukraine, Venice and Greece.

Her art expresses, as one will have perceived, a very sharp sense of the mystery of things as well as a rare generosity and a deep humanism. It goes without saying that in the dark times we are going through, those qualities seem more precious every day, and the poet may well be right when she announces the “Last Call For Love”. So let’s answer that call while the sun is still shining.

Christophe Lebold

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