Rosa Rebecka

Rosa Rebecka

 Okehampton, England, GBR
BandFolkAcoustic

Gentle and intense original songs and Swedish folk music, performed on voice, guitar, flute, mbira and singing bowl.

Biography

Half American and half Swedish, Rosa Rebecka grew up among the lakes and forests of southern Sweden. She sang with her family from an early age, wrote songs from the age of five, and learned to play flute and guitar. She left Sweden for England to study music at Dartington, and stayed on to work as a community musician for folk music chairty Wren Music, leading choirs and music workshops, and performing her own songs as well as Swedish and English traditional music.

Rosa Rebecka’s performances combine original songs with traditional music from Sweden, performed on voice, guitar, flute, singing bowl and mbira. Her influences include various folk singers, with the most noticeable inspiration coming from the early music of Joni Mitchell. Her sets are mellow and intimate, gently telling stories with songs described by NetRhythms as ‘intensely beautiful’, as well as getting her audiences to take part, clapping and stamping to the exhilarating rhythm of the Swedish polska.

In 2003, she recorded Water Carvings, a collection of songs exploring love and loss, made in memory of her late husband Tom, who died of cancer earlier that year. A live album, Boundless and More, recorded on Eliza Carthy’s tour, followed in 2005. She released her second studio album Untold in 2008, contrasting her own compositions with arrangements of traditional Swedish music, leading BBC Music to hail her as a ‘fresh and altogether captivating talent’.

Her most recent album, Songs for Mrs Beautiful, is named after her great-grandmother Katrina Fhager. The title track tells of her life, untimely death, and a precious heirloom: she left her guitar to her daughter, and it has been passed from mother to daughter ever since. “I may have this guitar to thank for my existence” says Rosa. “When my parents met, it was my mother’s singing and guitar playing that left a lasting impression on my father.” Following the release, Rosa was nominated for Best Acoustic Act in the 2012 South West Music Awards.

Rosa Rebecka still makes music for Wren, but she now also works as a freelance singing practitioner, running choirs and workshops, and giving individual tuition. This social aspect of music-making complements her song-writing and performances, which see her reaching audiences across the South West and beyond as a singer/songwriter.

Lyrics

Purple

Written By: Rosa Rebecka

When I can no longer live for me
I live for the colour purple
When I think all there is, is what I see
Remember purple

Well, the blue it ties together the sky and the sea
And the grass has got its yellow, and in the springtime it turns green
But then some jungle flower, a few old rocks and some rare autumn leaves
Dreamed up the colour purple

Chorus

Well, it is not the ocean, it’s a sparkle in its eye
It’s a cloud in the sunset, but it is not the sky
It’s a strand in the rainbow, just a strand, that is all
And in a world of pure reason there is simply no call
For a colour such as purple

You can tell me why I eat
Why I hunger, why I sleep
Why I drink, why I need rest
Why I want warmth, why I crave heat
There is still mystery, for I still cannot see
Why my heart should rejoice in purple

We may cry our tears, and it will fill our hearts with blue
But our lifeblood flows within, it is hot and bright and red
And as our hearts pump them through, they mix just the two
So through our skin our veins reveal purple

Chorus

Discography

Water Carvings (2003)
Live: Boundless and More (2005)
Untold (2008)
Songs For Mrs. Beautiful (2012)

Set List

Up to two 45-minute sets, and anything shorter. Intense story-songs, alternated with heart-rending Swedish love songs and joyous clap-along 'polskas'.