Lior Sings Again
Author: Justin Levy
Thursday, 20 March 2008
Lior was born in Israel in the late ’70s, and came to live in Sydney at the age of ten. Fans may have heard him describe his music as somewhat Middle Eastern in style, and many will say he brings forth something more personal to the acoustic flavour. Whatever it is, he’s doing it well, and has built up quite a loyal cult following.
“I was born in Israel, a fusion of the East and West. You have a lot of Arabic music there and sounds that the West are less accustomed to, and there is a lot of western-influenced music as well,” he explains. “I think it makes for a strange, different combination that a lot of people aren’t used to – a little unconventional.”
He is now living with his wife, daughter of four and one-year-old son, in Melbourne where he spent the last year or so recording his new album, Corner of an Endless Road, a follow up to his J Award-nominated 2005 release, Autumn Flow. (Idol groupies may remember contestant Matt Corby singing the soft tear-jerking Bedouin Song). This album is different, he tells, because of the 25-piece string orchestra that is featured on many of the tracks. But he assures the people it retains that uniqueness of the first.
“There’s quite a few musicians on there, and when you’re trying to go big like in this record, it is quite amazing when you have the power and energy that the orchestra brings,” he says. “This album has a lot of bigger tracks, and there was a lot of ambition and experimentation, but many tracks have the same feel of the first album.”
He is very grateful that after the release of Autumn Flow he no longer had to keep up the menial casual work he used to self-finance the record. There’s no time for hobbies, of course, but he can finally concentrate on music. Music and family. His lyrics and voice have left a trail of admirers, and one may wonder how he feels about revealing such personal sentiment.
“I think at the time of my first album’s release I was a little bit awkward about it,” he says. “But I’m more accepting of myself, and part of making music is about sharing something. Now, there’s kind of nothing I can’t and won’t say when I’m playing.”
Lior also had a more understated release in between the two albums; the live album, Doorways of My Mind, an unprecedented move with a back catalogue of one album.
“It was reactive,” he admits. “A lot of people said to me after the shows, ‘You should release something live, or some live tracks’. So when I had two shows in Melbourne, it happened. When you hear something live it does have this energy and spontaneity to it.”
Having financed his records himself, and with public broadcast airplay and devoted regional and city touring, Lior found his musical place in Australia without the need for advertising. But he is careful not to dish out advice to aspiring young artists too willingly.
“It’s an individual thing – there’s no golden guide to music,” he says. “All I can really say in my experience is that there are so many distractions, and if people want to get into it, they have to really focus on what they want and what they are doing and really just do the best they know is possible. Then hopefully people start to appreciate it, and move from there.”
WHAT: Plays Enmore Theatre / Canberra Playhouse
WHEN: Thursday 3 April / Thursday 10