Soho Rezanejad photo by Dalin Waldo

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is an arresting Danish artist, composer & playwright, and label boss to Silicone Records whose new album “Perform and Surrender” is out on 4th December. Soho Rezanejad for it is she, was born in New York in the late 80s and although versatility is not actually her middle name, it definitely could be, with each release to date varying in tone, scale and register – a parabolic anti-gravity ride through apposite and yet equally pleasing styles of sonic adventurism. Full of artistic vigour and intellectual rigour, I am very taken with the pastoral yet brooding lead song “Half The Shore” replete with ambient birdsong and cricket chafe, whose final haunting lyric “Love without trust is a river without water” is truly poetic, and left a ripple in my cerebral cortex greater than a thousand slates skimmed across glacial lakes. With that firmly in mind, and ingrained in my soul, I’m pleased to welcome to VS, Soho Rezanejad!

Here is said song on Soundcloud…

“Perform and Surrender” is the product of a series of performances presented between 2018 and 2019 in Copenhagen, Vienna, Helsingør, Munich, Montreal, Toronto, St. Petersburg, Tromsø and Nantes. The plan of each bespoke presentation was to distill the spirit of each city – composing small scores, bits of stage direction and some what Soho calls “half-lit phantoms to activate the set”. These formed the vertebrate of the album, along with poised poem recitation and a tone inevitably set by the loss of someone dear – making this a deeply personal, and unique contemplation of life, death and all nature therein.

Given the city hopping, emotionally bruising experience of “Perform and Surrender”, it perhaps comes as no surprise that Soho’s song choice for this series is an ode to a metropolis that has recently suffered greatly, and a deeply sorrowful and affecting one at that. Raw, troubled but distinctly beautiful.

Without further ado, here is Soho Rezanejad’s “song for ewe”…

“Here is a song by Fairuz, “Le Beirut”

“I grow new blood listening to the voice of Fairuz… the song of redemption.

Her spirit in this poem is faith at its virtue after a passing wave of sorrow. Having lived all my life in the West, it’s like home hearing something this intimate and honest. Like being held by my own mother. If there is a spirit that sleeps inside all works of art, this is the one I know.

It’s a song of a devoted mother in pursuit of the child’s liberation, but at the expense of their separation. Leaving one’s terrain, yet the weight of the past faithfully returning by memory.

The beautiful voice inside that wholeheartedly knows how to be In this world, without necessarily being Of it. Perhaps on a spiritual plane, it is a universal truth each and every one of us knows: that the limbo of the Heart is the joy and ache of Love.”

For Beirut,
من قلبي سلامٌ لبيروت
From my heart a greeting of peace to Beirut
و قُبلٌ للبحر و البيوت
And kisses to the sea and the houses,
لصخرةٍ كأنها وجه بحارٍ قديمِ
To a rock shaped liked the face of an old fisherman…
هي من روحِ الشعب خمرٌ
She is wine from the spirit of the people
هي من عرقِهِ خبزٌ و ياسمين
From its sweat (the people), she is bread and jasmine.
فكيف صار طعمها طعم نارٍ و دخانِ
So how did its taste become the taste of fire and smoke
For Beirut
مجدٌ من رمادٍ لبيروت
A glory of ashes, for Beirut
من دمٍ لولدٍ حُملَ فوق يدها
Of blood, of a child held in its palm
أطفأت مدينتي قنديلها
My city has extinguished its lantern
أغلقت بابها
She (my city) closed its door
أصبحت في السماء وحدها…
Became at night alone
وحدها و ليلُ
Alone with the night
أنتِ لي أنتِ لي
You are mine… You are mine
أه عانقيني أنتِ لي
Oh, embrace me; you are mine
رايتي و حجرُ الغدِ و موج سفري
My banner, and the stone of tomorrow, and the waves of my travel.
أزهرت جراح شعبي
The wounds of my people have blossomed
أزهرت دمعة الأمهات..
The mothers’ tears have blossomed
أنتِ بيروت لي
You, Beirut, are mine
أنتِ لي
You are mine
آه عانقيني
Oh, embrace me…”

You can pre-order “Perform and Surrender” here…