Three comprehensive and very moving programs about Lhasa (each one longer than 54 minutes) have been produced during the first three months of 2011: two on CBC Radio in English, and one on France Culture in French. Please consult our page of links to listen to them streaming.
Again it's the 1st of January.
One year has passed.
365 nights later and yet it seems like yesterday.
For some… for many.
It is not easy to witness the passing of someone so exceptional, and so young.
Her departure has been honored throughout the world.
In newspapers, in magazines, on television.
We have received thousands of e-mails,
and many thousands of testimonies across different websites.
All this has shown us clearly the extent of the influence of her music and her personality,
how so many have been so profoundly affected by her music.
It has been one year.
During this year we decided to remain silent…
To let the snow fall.
Lhasa taught us many things,
Especially to take our time.
At this sorrowful moment of reflection, we take the opportunity to tell you about different projects in tribute to Lhasa that are in the course of preparation.
We have found some little jewels in the archives, and hope to share them with you.
Music, of course.
And also, her own magnificent paintings, the series which includes the much loved cover painting of the CD La Llorona.
There is also her book, La Route Chante, which we hope to translate and offer in English.
All this takes times, but will come to pass!
We will keep you informed on the website and through our network of e-mails -- don't hesitate to join us.
Meanwhile we offer you a link to a new song composed by the group Esmerine and Patrick Watson, in memory of Lhasa.
It's called Snow Day for Lhasa.
Lhasa left us on the 1st of January last year.
She was cremated, as she wished.
A ceremony for her took place at the Ukranian Federation in Montreal on January 9, 2010.
Another took place in Bourgogne, France, where her 3 sisters live and work as circus artists, on the 21st of June, 2010, the day of the summer solstice and of La Fête de la Musique in France.
A part of her ashes were dispersed in a little river which flows gently all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.
For those for whom it would be meaningful to have a place to go to honor her, there is now a stone reserved for Lhasa at the Cemetery Notre-Dame-Des-Neiges (which literally means "Our Lady of the Snows") in Montreal.
The cemetery plot is called poetically (!) Chandler 261.
(And Lhasa loved flowers!)
David-Etienne Savoie and Lhasa's management team.
ps: keep sending us e-mails!
Link to a gorgeous song in memory of Lhasa
by Esmerine and Patrick Watson called
snow day for Lhasa
Follow this link to the web store where you can buy Lhasa's last album on vinyl.
It's a limited edition, audiophile quality double vinyl; 180 grs: 45 rmp.
Lhasa produced the vinyl herself. It meant a lot to her.
As the album was recorded mostly in live sessions and entirely to tape. She felt this was the way it should be experienced.
Official press release
For immediate release
In Montreal, Canada: Sunday January 3rd, 2010
The singer Lhasa de Sela passed away in her Montreal home on the night of January 1st 2010, just before midnight.
She succumbed to breast cancer after a twenty-one month long struggle, which she faced with courage and determination.
Throughout this difficult period, she continued to touch the lives of those around her with her characteristic grace, beauty and humor. The strength of her will carried her once again into the recording studio, where she completed her latest album, followed by successful record launches in Montreal at the Théatre Corona and in Paris at the Théatre des Bouffes du Nord. Two concerts in Iceland in May were to be her last.
She was forced to cancel a long international tour scheduled for autumn 2009. A projected album of the songs of Victor Jara and Violeta Parra would also remain unrealized.
Lhasa de Sela was born on September 27, 1972, in Big Indian, New York.
Lhasa's unusual childhood was marked by long periods of nomadic wandering through Mexico and the U.S., with her parents and sisters in the school bus which was their home. During this period the children improvised, both theatrically and musically, performing for their parents on a nightly basis. Lhasa grew up in a world imbued with artistic discovery, far from conventional culture.
Later Lhasa became the exceptional artist that the entire world discovered in 1997 with La Llorona, followed by 2003's The Living Road, and 2009's self-titled LHASA. These three albums have sold over a million copies world-wide.
It is difficult to describe her unique voice and stage presence, which earned her iconic status in many countries throughout the world, but some Journalists have described it as passionate, sensual, untameable, tender, profound, troubling, enchanting, hypnotic, hushed, powerful, intense, a voice for all time.
Lhasa had a unique way of communicating with her public. She dared to open her heart on stage, allowing her audience to experience an intimate connection and communion with her. She profoundly affected and inspired many people throughout the cities and countries she visited.
An old friend of Lhasa's, Jules Beckman, offered these words:
"We have always heard something ancestral coming through her. She has always spoken from the threshold between the worlds, outside of time. She has always sung of human tragedy and triumph, estrangement and seeking with a Witness's wisdom. She has placed her life at the feet of the Unseen."
Lhasa leaves behind her partner Ryan, her parents Alejandro and Alexandra, her step-mother Marybeth, her 9 brothers and sisters (Gabriela, Samantha, Ayin, Sky, Miriam, Alex, Ben, Mischa and Eden), her 16 nieces and nephews, her cat Isaan, and countless friends, musicians, and colleagues who have accompanied her throughout her career, not to mention her innumerable admirers throughout the world.
Her family and close friends were able to mourn peacefully during the last two days, and greatly appreciated this meaningful period of quiet intimacy. Funeral and services will be held privately.
It has snowed more than 40 hours in Montreal since Lhasa's departure.
We are very happy to announce that the feature film "Cold Souls", directed by Sophie Barthes, was released in the U.S. last august
and will appear in theatres in the U.K. this november, as well France and elsewhere in the world this coming February.
The film Features Paul Giammatti, Diana Korzun and Emily Watson
The film's soundtracks features the songs "La marée haute" and "Pa llegar tu lado" by Lhasa
Lhasa, her management and her band are sorry to announce the indefinite postponement of the European tour and most other concerts due to health concerns. Lhasa has been faced with a serious health issue for more than a year and, through careful management of her energy and successful treatment, improved so much that she felt confident that she could carry on with touring for her new album. The recent trips to England, France, Belgium and Iceland showed us that the stresses of travel, promotion and performances might put too much of a strain on Lhasa's recovery and that it is more prudent to wait for a full recovery before the tour can be resumed.
Lhasa and her team are searching for ways to stay as active and creative as possible under the circumstances.
The concerts in Reykjavik, Iceland, were lovely and the people of the Reykavik Arts Festival were the most kind and generous hosts ever. They went out of their way to make us confortable and help us to dicover their beautiful country. Thank you - takk feyrir!
We'd like to take a moment to address the confusion that's been arising around the existence of different formats for the new album.
The album cover that Lhasa worked on with Thomas Csano is an all-paper sleeve with a slightly atypical, square shape. Although this is the only version that Lhasa personally oversaw, some of the record companies involved in the distribution of the album have found it expensive to produce, and we agreed to the fabrication of a second version with a plastic "jewel box" case so that the cd could be affordable for everyone. The more expensive paper version is being advertised as a "collector's version". Unfortunately this has led to some misunderstandings and some confusion on the part of people who have bought the more expensive version expecting "extras" and disappointed to find that it's just the same album packaged differently.
We are very sorry about all of this. Our intention was just to make a simple and beautiful package that felt like it came from the same world as the music inside.
We're looking to see what we can do to rectify the situation. In the meantime, all we can say is, it's the same album, so do buy the cheaper one if money is the issue. If you'd like to have the album as Lhasa intended it to be and the price difference is small (in some territories the price difference is big enough to be a bit surprising) then the paper one is there for you
Again, we are sorry for any confusion this may have caused.
The album was released two weeks ago and the reviews are rolling in...
"Hers is one of those voices that you have to hear to believe. An instrument of astonishing purity, strength and clarity, it somehow transcends genre, as do Lhasa's eloquent songs." Kerry Doole, Exclaim!, CANADA
"...Ce disque... complète avec force la discographie sans faute d’une artiste majeure de notre époque." Benjamin MiNiMuM, Mondomix, FRANCE
"Lhasa suena aquí más desnuda que nunca. Doce canciones de estilo clásico blues, folk, jazz, country... interpretadas con una crudeza que estremece." JESÚS MIGUEL MARCOS, Publico, ESPAÑA
"We knew she was good, but now she sounds truly great." David Hutcheon, The Times, LONDON
The dates for the beginning of the tour are beginning to be confirmed. Check the TOUR page!
Here's a beautiful, hand-drawn video for "Rising" by Alex McLean et Kathleen Weldon, two incredibly talented Montréal illustrators, cartoon artists and animators who are also members of the group Rothschilds (www.myspace.com/therothschilds).
We are very proud to welcome you to the new website and to announce the release of Lhasa's new album, called "Lhasa". The album will be released in Canada and Europe April 21st and in the US in September.