top of page

‘I reach a trance state. I’m almost sleepwalking’: the mystical jazz of Nala Sinephro

Under a cold, moonlit sky in south London’s Horniman Museum conservatory, Nala Sinephro is cradling her pedal harp like a child softly resting on her shoulder. With her eyes closed behind her wire-rimmed glasses, she begins to delicately pull her hands along its strings, creating enveloping glissandos that fill the candlelit room. In the corner of her eye a tear glistens.


This is the first full-band gig Sinephro has played since the release of her highly acclaimed debut album Space 1.8 (“a benchmark in ambient jazz … less like a player seated at her instrument than a source of light”, rhapsodised Pitchfork). “These were tears of happiness I was trying to hide, since that was my favourite show I’ve ever done. I could feel the presence of everyone surrounding me,” Sinephro says a few days after the event. “I was crying because I couldn’t believe the record is out and that I am living the gift of being able to make my music. Playing the harp is a form of therapy for me. I close my eyes, my hands work and I process the emotions I’m feeling without needing to say anything.”


Read the interview in the Guardian.


[This piece was published on 17/11/21]

Recent Posts

See All

Sona Jobarteh’s forward-looking vision of the kora

“Being modern is often associated with becoming western,” says kora virtuoso and vocalist Sona Jobarteh. “What I’m trying to bring to attention is that there is such a thing as being modern and Africa

Kamasi Washington: Life Overflowing

The covers of saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s last two albums cast him as a towering, mythical force in music. On his 2015 debut, The Epic, he floats surrounded by imagined planets and speckled stars,

Comments


bottom of page