Noëmi Waysfeld & Blik
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Noëmi Waysfeld & Blik

Paris, Île-de-France, France | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Paris, Île-de-France, France | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band World Acoustic




"Full Press Review"

short translated quotes from the articles :

Libération : It is a recording of uncommon emotional force, sung with exemplary simplicity

Mondomix : "an astonishing maturity in the deep voice of this young singer, who says the despair as well as the humour and hope of these siberian prisoners, and also the tears of the Eastern Europe jews history"

Lylo : "Obviously charmed by their talented singer, the musicians of the group plays these dancing and moving songs bravely, songs full of the Slavic soul, Jazz, Mediterranean influences, and russian yiddish folklore". - Various medias : Liberation - Mondomix - Télérama - Lylo


Alfama - 2015 - AWZ Records / L'Autre Distribution

With their new album Alfama, Blik and Nomi Waysfeld take us to the streets of Lisbon, reinterpreting the languid tones of fado music, for the first time in Yiddish.This choice was both radical and strangely logical. Amalia Rodrigues music and the songs from the Jewish shtetl exhibit a host of similarities: the emotions they convey, something about their essence. Singer/actor Nomi Wajsfeld beautifully embodies the unity of both worlds

This album represents a fresh beginning for Blik, a musical ensemble with a knack for innovating in genres which, to many, may appear to be off-limits, set in stone, lending themselves to nothing more than pure imitation. Indeed, Bliks not-so-secret ambition is simple: to bring the Yiddish language and Yiddish music to new audiences, from the jazz buff to the contemporary music enthusiast to anyone with a love for real, raw emotions. 

Kalyma - 2012 - AWZ Records / L'Autre Distribution

Nomi Waysfeld and Blik are obstinate. They just wont stick to one genre. And so they have chosen never to choose between Yiddish folk songs and Siberian prison ballads. Yiddish, for one, seemed like the obvious thing to do. Having developed an early interest in the culture, Nomi Waysfeld wanted to give their luster back to such Yiddish classics as Unter dayne vayse shtern, a melancholy song of hope written in the Warsaw ghetto, Bobenyu a song celebrating the Shabbat, or Shnirele Perele. The album Kalyma features six such songs, brilliantly arranged and compellingly revisited. 

The Siberian prisoners thing takes a while longer to explain. It was Nomi who introduced the rest of the band to the incredible story of what can only be described as the Gulag blues. With her storytellers voice, she led Antoine, Florent and Thierry into the footsteps of Dina Vierny, one of the few people from the West who got direct access to the first Gulag survivors ordinary prisoners sent back from Siberia during the period of dtente under Krushchev. It was in Moscow that Dina Vierny, known as Maillols muse, first heard these songs of anger and rage. She memorized them, since smuggling any recordings through customs would have been dangerous. Back in Paris, she put all this material on magnetic tape over the course of one big night, together with her Russian friends poets, musicians and painters. For effect, she added some light musical accompaniment to the naked voice: a guitar and a double bass. 

The recording, released on vinyl in 1975, was part of Nomi Waysfelds familys music collection. She played it to the band, and their response was enthusiastic. Now Nomi is on stage introducing modern audiences to these forgotten lyrics of anger and rebellion, couched in poetic Russian prison slang. 

As for the band, it has appropriated these cries of revolt and hope most of the songs do end on a smile with a conquering spirit, using todays musical ideas to rejuvenate the style. It may well be that the gatekeepers of genre purity will balk at the liberties they have taken. Jazzmen could be puzzled, reluctant as they sometimes are to approach folk music. Never mind. The rest of us will feel engaged and touched by Bliks modern take on this well-nigh forgotten musical heritage. The fact that the bands sophisticated yet accessible, respectful yet innovative approach has been sanctioned by two prime libertarians on the klezmer scene (the excellent David Krakauer and renowned cellist Sonia Atherton, both featured on the album) is proof enough that they are on the right track. At the Maillol museum in Paris, Dina Viernys estate managers are all in favor of Blik revisiting the songs. Besides, the pair intends to further explore the immense field of contemporary Jewish music. They are already working on parallel projects where their cosmopolitan sound meets electro beats and Portuguese fado in Yiddish translation. 



Few singers are capable of conveying emotions in languages other than their own, but Nomi Waysfeld does just that, in both Russian and Yiddish. She recites and sings and simply brings home these lyrics of hope and rebellion. Her style is reminiscent of French diva Barbaras elegance, Russian songstress Elena Frolovas sensibility and Brassens cool attitude. At times, her incredibly raucous voice has faint echoes of Ella Fitzgerald. She can shout and she can whisper, but mostly she just lets the lyrics speak for themselves. 

The Blik boys both follow and lead her into a constant swirl. Antoine Rozenbaum plays the double bass, which he perfected at the American School of Modern Musci as well as Frances Conservatoire. Symbolically enough, Antoine and Nomi met at klezmer camp. They now form the bands core, its heart and soul. Their globe-trotting guitarist Florent Labodinire is a case of strings without borders, having picked up the oud, guitar and buzuki in his travels (to Morocco, in particular). Thierry Bretonnet is a supremely gifted accordionist and former disciple to Marcel Azzola. This motley crew of friends has developed its very own hybrids by frantically tampering with the genome of Eastern Europes contemporary music styles.

Band Members