It’s taken me almost a week to process news of the all-too-recent death of one of the greatest artists who inhabited this country called Canada. Lhasa de Sela died at her home in Montreal. She impressed as much as any new artist in any medium that I’ve encountered in the past decade. Her music was transfiguring; her voice an incandescent message from some unlikely sphere that only she seemed to know well.
Unfortunately, I never saw Lhasa perform live; but I did screen a number of concerts on television. Her taped performance at Quebec’s Summer Festival from a few years back smokes with intensity. As an artist who worked simultaneously in Spanish, French and English, Lhasa represented much of what’s laudatory about Quebec and Canada. She was a twenty-first century powerhouse. It’s a crying shame that she died at age 37. Her first album in particular will long, long, long survive her.
Thanks for the tunes and that beautiful voice, Lhasa. Travel safely.