In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Vocolot brings a joyous fusion of folk, jazz and cantorial vocal traditions into the contemporary a cappella world. Their music, rooted in universal heart, social conscience and Jewish soul, communicates a powerful vision of world peace and reconciliation.
Vocolot sings in English, Hebrew, Ladino, Yiddish, and Arabic, blending lush harmonies, soaring melodies and global percussion in original works and new renderings of ancient songs and texts.
Vocolot takes its name from the English word "vocal" and the Hebrew word "kolot" meaning voices. Since 1988, they have been performing for audiences across the United States in English and Hebrew, with a sprinkling of Yiddish, Latino, Arabic and American Sign Languages. Vocolot draws upon ancient and contemporary sources that evoke the power of centuries of women's repertoire, primarily composed by Linda Hirschhorn, and mixes traditional modes with Folk, Jazz and Classical idioms to create an innovative sound. They are a California Arts Council Touring Artist and perform internationally, uplifting and enthralling audiences of all ages with songs of celebration, community and Jewish heritage.
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Review: Performing together throughout the world since 1988, Vocolot takes its name from the English 'vocal' and the Hebrew word 'kolot,' meaning 'voices.' These six lovely women bring us a passionate celebration of women's voices and (non-vocal) percussion, with songs that affirm life and a vision of one world at peace. Original and traditional music, sung in English, Yiddish, Hebrew and Ladino. 15 songs: the title tune (an original by Linda Hirshhorn of the group, who also wrote 'Who Can You Lean On,' 'Full Circle,' 'For Talia, Born 9/11/85,' 'These Hands' and 'Sarah and Hagar.'), 'La Comida,' 'Zog Maran,' the exuberant'Elokim,' 'Guide Me,' 'Yesh Lanu Koach,' 'Ocho Kandelikas,' 'Los Bilbilicos,' 'Eretz Zavat Chalav U'Dvashand 'Pitchu Li/Effen Oyf.' Beautifully blended harmonies add to the deep feeling of these songs, from the pain and anger of the resistance song 'Zog Moran' to the celebration and joy of the Brazilian song 'Elokim.' A strong, special CD.
Review: Gorgeous a cappella English and Hebrew rounds and songs sung by Linda and Vocolot. A classic, it includes "Miriam's Slow Snake Dance by the Riverside" and "Ilu Finu", as well as "The Berry Song" and "The Full Moon Song" with their powerful affirmation of the bond between women and nature.
Review: This new release is by far the strongest recording put forth by this women's progressive Jewish vocal ensemble. Their firm, clear voices ring true on the 14 mostly original compositions. Many are Linda Hirschhorn's settings of traditional texts. The title song ("Hareh Aht/Hashmi'Rini" or Behold!) is a lovely piece using a text recited when exchanging rings along with a Song of Songs text. "Sham'Ra" (Hear and Rejoice) uses a psalm, while "Imri Na" (Sister) draws a story from Genesis. Others provide nice variety, especially "If You Can Walk," an original song "adapted from Zimbabwe folk wisdom," and the CARA-nominated contemporary Israeli love song "Eretz Shiv'Rat Haminim." Several of the pieces are lightly accompanied, but vocal harmony is always central.
Review: After you hear Roots & Wings it won't come as any surprise to find out that Linda Hirschhorn is the cantor at a major Temple in the San Francisco Bay Area. What you will hear is a number of rounds and chants which often are expansions on texts from the Old Testament and other sources of Jewish wisdom, when they have source other than the heart. For example "Not By Might" is adapted from Zachariah 4:6 while "Trees of the Wild" comes from Isaiah 55:12. These rounds are sung by as few as three of the six members of Vocolot, usually four or five. Amidst this setting of chants and rounds are four of Linda's original songs which are embellished by light instrumentation. "Homeless Blues" is just accompanied by a bass player. Our favorite is "Play On (For Tay Holden)" a lyrical memory of a departed dear musical friend, accompanied by guitar, bass, fiddle, drums and clarinet. The singing is beautiful. The songs are inspired.