Daniel Biro ‘Shir Hadash’ (2020 Remaster)
A-cappella gospel voices with electronic transformations. (2020 remaster )
1. Kol Ha Aretz [2:35]
2. Azamra Be Odi [5:43]
3. Shir Hadash 1 [6:28]
4. Zamru, Rannu [6:08]
5. Naggen Bitrua [7:03]
6. Shir Hadash 2 [10:25]
7. Chayos [9:26]
Written, recorded and produced by Daniel Biro
Jacek Ludwig Scarso, Russell Matthews, Danny Standing: voices Daniel Biro: electronics, electric piano, percussion
Photo by Daniel Biro
I was inspired to write a purely a-cappella male voice piece after hearing Jacek Ludwig Scarso’s Elastic Theatre Ensemble performing a collection of gospel songs. The pure beauty of simple harmonies in repetitive patterns was such an emotionally powerful musical vehicle, I felt I wanted to explore it in my own way.
’Shir Hadash’ (‘A New Song’ in Hebrew) combines these timeless voice harmonies with contemporary electronic sound processing. The piece was first performed at Kings Place, London in November 2009 with all the electronic processing performed live.
Repetitive chanting has always been associated with mystical, trance-inducing states. All spiritual traditions employ some version of circular/spiral voice-based rituals to help detach from the physical world and attain higher levels of perception. Ancient Hebrew prayers, especially the Psalms, are full of expressions of singing ‘new songs’ as exhortations to awake and celebrate the spirit through music. Each piece of ‘Shir Hadash’ uses a selection of these expressions as lyrics.
The electronic processing on the voices suggests the transition from material world to mystical spheres. The more earthy ‘Kol Ha Aretz’ has very little processing, whereas the final
‘Chayos’ (name of a class of angelic being, carrier of the divine throne) is pure electronics. Some percussion and Rhodes electric piano are also present in the baroque-flavoured Naggen Bitrua and the jazzier Shir Hadash 2.
In some ways, ‘Shir Hadash’ links back to my 1996 female-only a-cappella piece The Comparative Anatomy of Angels (Sargasso SCD28022).
‘Shir Hadash’ is dedicated to my three beautiful children. They are my ‘new songs’. © Daniel Biro 2020
Original album released in 2014
This is the definitive version edited and remastered by Daniel Biro.