Welcome to Sing For Your Supper – the cosiest gig you’ll ever stumble across. A monthly gig in my kitchen, among my pots and pans.
I’m working with the brilliant Karousel Music Collective to bring you the very best in songwriting and musicianship, straight from my kitchen, into yours. (If you happen to be watching this in your kitchen.) Described as ‘a bedroll and campfire of the soul for great artistes, songwriters, musicians and independent music industry professionals both UK based and beyond,’ Karousel Music Collective have tapped into something rather unique and I’m so pleased to be working with them.
But now, may I introduce the beautiful Ana Silvera…
‘Stunning.. a gorgeous album that mixes operatic and folk elements with magical storytelling’ The Guardian
She arrived at my flat with her guitar, we chatted, shared stories and had a wonderful day. Read on for lots more about Ana, what she listens to when she cooks and what Time Out say about her.. (it’s good. It’s really good.)
Here she is, singing for her supper, in Poppy’s kitchen. (Do watch to the end, it always makes me laugh…)
Ana Silvera, ‘Letter From New York’
The last couple of years have been phenomenal for the extraordinary, multi-talented artist Ana Silvera. She released her debut album ‘The Aviary’ through Karamel Music to great praise. Recorded in New York with Maxim Moston (Antony and the Johnsons, Rufus Wainwright) and produced by Brad Albetta (Martha Wainwright, Teddy Thompson) in New York and Ray Singer (Peter Sarstedt, Japan) in London, the album prompted critics to pen words such as ‘utterly beguiling’, ‘dark and delicious’, ‘stunning’, ‘a joy’, ‘magical’, ‘gorgeous’ and ‘a genius composer’. Songs of deeply personal experiences sit alongside tales of romance and tragedy, with drama, complexity, darkness and exuberance all found within.
Ana was also invited to perform her seven part song cycle ‘Oracles’ at the 2012 Reverb Festival at London’s Roundhouse and at The Sage, Gateshead. Composed both as a creative reaction and as an expression of grief to the death of her brother Daniel, the songs were sung alongside the thirty strong Estonian Television Girls Choir. Yet to be recorded, Oracles was also nominated for an award at the prestigious tenth anniversary BASCA ceremony (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors), held in London on December 3rd at Goldsmiths’ Hall.
The sold out shows – both streamed by The Guardian website – also featured Imogen Heap and the Holst Choir with Ana, Imogen and the two choirs all singing ‘Letter From New York’ taken from The Aviary’, as a finale.
‘Melodies that just won’t leave you alone, and a voice that tugs at your heart’
Late Junction, BBC Radio 3
‘Silvera’s voice.. has a Björk-like spontaneity – an ability to be gritty and fragile one minute, warm, rich and ripe the next’ Arts Desk
‘A stunning, beautiful and genius composer’ Camden New Journal
‘An emerging star singer/multi-instrumentalist making waves here and in the US, winning acclaim for her recent ‘Oracles’ composition’ Time Out
Currently, Ana is living in Copenhagen working on her next record and several other projects including a collaboration with the Royal Ballet.
Meet Ana Silvera…
What’s your favourite supper?
“I have a lovely friend in Copenhagen who spent a lot of time in Thailand, and learnt how to make the most delicious dishes. Vegetable curry with about fifteen different spices all hand-ground; massive piles of shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, chilli, nam pla, tamarind juice,…they’re my favourite flavours. When I lived in Berlin, there was also an Vietnamese restaurant called Monsieur Vuong (I believe it’s still there) that made an incredible spicy shrimp salad with glass noodles and hazelnuts. I’d always have a pineapple and coconut juice alongside it. I still dream of those meals…one day I’ll go back!”
What’s your favourite London eaterie?
“My favourite eatery is Lanka Cake Shop and Tea Salon, just off Finchley Road, which is run by Masayuki Hara and his wife Mina. Masa, from Japan, is a master pastry chef who makes the best cakes I’ve ever tasted – and I’ve tasted a lot of cake in my time. Strangely, Masa says he likes steak better than cake, but I guess cake must seem like a bit of a bus man’s holiday to him by now.
There have been days when I’ve felt totally miserable, and then wandered into Lanka and my day has been transformed by the soothing atmosphere, the impeccable service but most of all by.. the cakes! One bite of the pear and almond slice, the lemon tart or the croissant bread and butter pudding alongside some select black or jasmine tea, and all is well once again with the world.”
What’s your cooking soundtrack?
“Funk accompanied by a large glass of wine (my chef role-model is vintage Keith Floyd). Throwing tabasco around: Earth, Wind and Fire; chopping the carrots: Sly and the Family Stone. As much as I love cooking, rather like going to the gym there are tedious and sometimes even painful moments (any kind of grating is pretty dull, hand-grinding spices is hard on the forearm, slicing onions, ouch), so you need a bit of cheer and a soulful groove to make it through.”
Sing for your Supper will be returning next month, when Thom Byles will be singing in my kitchen…
Have a wonderful weekend all,
If you’d like to get involved with Sing for Your Supper, just contact the Karousel Music Collective here.
Ben Katzler of Head Photographic directed this film. If you’d like to contact him for any snapping or shooting, you can reach him here.