Sasha Siem is a British-Norwegian singer-songwriter and cello player.
Sasha Siem was born in London, England, to Kristian Siem, a Norwegian businessman, and his South African wife Karen Ann. Her brother is violinist Charlie Siem.
In 2010, she became one of the youngest people to win a British Composer Award. She has also been awarded the Arthur Bliss Prize and the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize. So from that you can tell she’s no slouch at the old songwriting game. Really all you have to do is listen to a few of her songs, you’ll soon be convinced.
Sasha Siem has just released her new album “Bird Burning” which explores a relationship through the prisms of medieval symbolism and Sasha’s Sámi heritage, including the tradition of “yoiking” or singing in a trance to invoke living things.
So enough of a pre-amble, let’s get to the music.
First up today, a gem. A beautiful video, they can’t help being when filmed in Iceland, and a beautiful song. Sounds of Sasha’s Sámi heritage, almost medieval. And oh what a voice she has. Complete with some awesome percussion.
Recorded at the Greenhouse studios in Iceland with Valgeir Sigurðsson, for the album “Bird Burning” released yesterday on Blue Plum Records.
Awesome in its simplicity, yet totally complicated with the primitive percussion.
As Sasha explains, “the Sámi don’t sing songs about things or people or places, they sing them directly into existence.”
You are as one with the bird and the rain and the fire.
Another gem, filmed in Iceland.
Simply put, beautiful beyond words. I just love her voice.
Directors : Helgi Jóhannsson & Hörður Sveinsson
Producer : Ólafur Páll Torfason
DP : Tómas Örn Tómasson
Production company : Knucklehead
Production service in Iceland : Snark
AD : Aðalgeir Gestur Vignisson
AC : Baldvin Vernharðsson
Second AC : Logi Ingimarsson
Make up : Flóra Karítas Buenaño
Stylist : Ýr Þrastardóttir
Editor : Guðni Halldórsson og Helgi Jóhannsson
Colorist : Luis Ascanio @Trickshot
Animal Handler : Jónína Valgerður Örvar
Cast : Guðrún Gísladóttir & Kjuregej Alexandra Argunova
Oh, it’s been so long since I have seen A Take Away Show video. But thankfully they made this one, they do such a terrific job of presenting an artist. And this is no exception some wonderful production values show two sides of the wonderful Sasha Siem and her cello. In the first song she breaks your heart with the sadness implied by her voice, and in the second she makes you smile. Such talent. Thanks again La Blogotheque.
Tug of War & Kind Man’s Kiss
A film by Derrick Belcham
Produced by A Story Told Well for La Blogothèque
Filmed in London on February 16th
For nearly ten years, La Blogotheque has changed the way people experience music. We film beautiful, rare and intimate sessions with your favorite artists, and the ones you are soon to fall in love with.
Back to the album, here is a live version of one of the tracks. This was only uploaded yesterday and has no information about where or when it was recorded. A very simple session with a small combo as back up. And Ms Sasha’s voice is awesome as ever. Simply the best.
Final track for today, same crew as the “Pelican” above, but fuller sound with some awesome brass. An intricate arrangement that skirts the edges of jazz. Love it.
OK I lied, I just had to include the fabulous track from her first album ‘Most of the Boys’. I just love this track, I think her Anglo side comes out here.