Linda Hirschhorn and Vocolot / Heart Beat

grinning heads form a cute star Linda Hirschhorn and Vocolot
Heart Beat,
Oyster Albums OA1119, 2002

Linda Hirschhorn has been creating amazing music for decades, solo, and with her (mostly) a cappella group, "Vocolot." This latest release, featuring her soaring voice with the amazing harmonies of the oh-so-aptly named "Vocolot" ("vocolot" is Hebrew/English pun on the word for "voices") is a new treasure. From the opening new age harmonies of "Heart Beat," to the call and response of "Elokim: The Great One Gives Us All," to the quiet Appalachian "Guide Me", the Vocolot excel at music that celebrates and refreshes the human spirit. They draw from traditions as diverse as Eastern Europe to South Africa to Hirschhorn's own compositions. Along the way, they renew songs that have long been favorites: "Eretz Zavat Chalav u'Dvash" (Land of Milk and Honey), "Ocho Kandelikas" (Eight Candles), and "Los Bilbilicos" (The Nightingales). This album is a celebration of the diversity of the American Jewish experience, grounded in Jewish Renewal and in world women's music traditions. It also highlights Hirschhorn's amazing strength as a songwriter. It is music of renewal and beauty. As the group sings, "we have strength, we have spirit." Listening to this album, you will find yourself renewed in both.

Reviewed by Ari Davidow 2/22/03

Personnel this recording:
Linda Hirschhorn: director
Elizabeth Stuart: percussion
Alison Lewis
Ellen Robinson
Judith-Kate Friedman
Jennifer Karno


  1. Heart Beat (Hirschhorn, w/ phrases from Tim Saunders, Marcia Falk) 4:11
  2. La Comida (trad. Ladino) 2:05
  3. Zog Maran (Abraham Reisen; arr. Hirschhorn) 2:23
  4. Elokim: The Great One Gives Us All (trad. Brazilian via Mati Caspi and Rosalind Glazer) 3:28
  5. Guide Me (trad. Appalachian, arr. Ellen Robinson) 2:37
  6. Who Can You Lean On (Linda Hirschhorn; arr. Vocolot) 3:26
  7. Full Circle (Linda Hirschhorn; arr. LH w/Vocolot) 2:44
  8. Yesh Lanu Koach (trad. South African via Nick Page, Larry Sandburg; arr. Vocolot) 2:37
  9. For Talia: Born 9/11/85 (Linda Hirschhorn) 2:20
  10. These Hands (words: Hirschhorn, music: Alison Lewish; arr. Alison Lewis, Linda Hirschhorn, Ellen Robinson) 3:40
  11. Ocho Kandelikas (Flory Jagoda; arr. Vocolot) 1:41
  12. Los Bilbilicos (trad. Ladino) 3:14
  13. Eretz Zavat Chalav u'Dvash (words: biblical, music: Eliyahu Gamliel; arr. Fran Avni) 3:16
  14. Sarah and Hagar (Linda Hirschhorn) 2:53
  15. Pitchu Li/Effen Oyf: A Chant to Life (music: LH, Yiddish translation: Shulamis Friedman, arr. LH, opening lead written: Alison Lewis) 4:21

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