Having charted new territory with her first album Hashgachah, and its ‘sophisticated soul-bearing vision’, Jarmila Gorna is now pushing her own musical boundaries even further. The critics were so dazzled by her genre-defying album, that it was cited for nomination by the BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards. With Hashgachah reviewers struggled for words to describe the indescribable – rather appropriate for an album of wordless songs. Kate Bush, Chick Corea, Ennio Morricone, ‘an entire Bulgarian choir’, ‘The Beach Girls’ were just some of the comparisons made.

Where do you go from there?

Gorna's new album is the elegantly named 'Aspaklaria' (Aramaic for ‘clear lens’). This time, inspired by a lifetime’s spiritual quest for Hebraic mysticism, self-penned lyrics poured forth. ‘My songs on Aspaklaria are songs of love and fear, of one's personal shattering and self-reconstructing, of questions asked and perhaps answers given, of getting connected and staying connected, of reaching to the heavens and reaching for the stars'. Wanting to push beyond the luxury and safety of the abstract, Jarmila is gathering the clouds into concrete form.

All the things reviewers liked most in the debut album are still present. The magic of her almost extraterrestrial voice and the emotionally gripping way she uses it - combined this time with contemporary beats, electronic sounds, stirring grooves and refreshingly unexpected song structures.

Aspaklaria is almost single-handedly the work of one woman – written, performed, produced and engineered by a true ‘Polly Math'! She is assisted by the inimitable David Farren, founder member of Bad Manners. Farren also created the album artwork and graces the music with his electric guitar brushstrokes. The music was recorded in her studio which was originally set up with the kind assistance of old friend and mentor, Philip Bagenal of Eastcote Studios (Adele's ‘21’). Mixed by Grammy award-winning engineer Matt Lawrence (Mumford & Sons' ‘Babel’), mastered by the multiple Grammy-nominated Stuart Hawkes (Amy Winehouse's ‘Back to Black’, Lorde's ‘Pure Heroine’). Larry Holcombe added his production flair.

You may hear pop crossover, trip-hop, rock or a grime vibe, or detect warped echoes of drum & bass or deep house, and an occasional bass wobble… phew!... but Jarmila Gorna once again eludes all attempts at easy classification. All those eager for fresh musical experiences will not want to miss out on this. Here is a multi-talented artist in her element doing what she likes best.


Jarmila’s new album Aspaklaria has just been released. How did it all start?
She was very nearly born on stage in the Lodz Grand Opera House where her opera-singer mother was determined to go on with the show! Could it be this prenatal experience of being surrounded by multi-layered choir harmonies became the essence of Jarmila’s musical creativity?
She started composing at 5, first attempt at sound engineering at 12. Teenage flirtation with Beethoven’s sonatas and Bach’s fugues. Academy of Music, Jazz faculty. She has never stopped reinventing herself… First in Poland - 19th century English folk music with Sovay, keyboard player with rock bands…

Then in England – in a quest to ‘find her own voice’ – her multimedia Trance-Magic Piano Sessions at the bohemian Trolley Stop in Dalston, London, resulting in acclaimed album Hashgachah. Chosen for nomination by the BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards, guest lecturer at Cambridge University, composer of music for theatre and film. Performances at the ICA, Jazz Café, Vortex, Union Chapel etc. and European music festivals. Featured and interviewed by radio and TV around Europe. Inventor of a unique music teaching system – the Gorna Method. Built her own recording studio, where she works as a composer, songwriter, sound engineer, producer and arranger of music.

What did the critics have to say about her last album Hashgachah?

‘A sophisticated, soul bearing vision. Audacious... incredible vocal harmonies... A stunningly cathartic tour de force.’ (The Herald, Scotland)

‘Totally unique... startling and original.’ (Jazz FM, UK)

‘Wordless vocal pyrotechnics: from deep sultry jazz to wild chants and soaring celestial choirs. The virtuoso piano is of the highest calibre: richly diverse and brilliantly conceived.’ (Kindred Spirit)

‘Incredibly captivating… she has built her own musical cosmos.’ (Folker, Germany)

Jarmila’s performances have also attracted a lot of attention:

‘Her impassioned vocalising swoops through the octaves’ (The Scotsman, Scotland)

‘All human emotions are featured with drama and searing conviction. Emotional honesty and vulnerability, choreographs epic soundtracks.’ (The Herald, Scotland)

‘Crucially, she has evolved a unique style of singing without words.’ (Jewish Chronicle, UK)

‘Some high-pitched scream-like cries nearly moved me to tears.’ (Women in Music, UK)

To be continued ;-)


Annotation last modified on 2018-08-15 01:09 .


Digital Media 1
# Title Rating Length
1 Aspaklaria
2 Neuro Alien
3 Only You
4 Forgiveness
5 Faith
6 I Hmm You
7 Three Gorgeous Years
8 Black Dog
9 My Self
10 A Dance


Digital Media 1

Jarmila Xymena Gorna (tracks 1–10)
Jarmila Xymena Gorna (tracks 1–10)
Jarmila Music (tracks 1–10)
recording of:
A Dance (track 10)
Aspaklaria (Jarmila Xymena Gorna, album Aspaklaria) (track 1)
Black Dog (track 8)
Faith (track 5)
Forgiveness (track 4)
I Hmm You (track 6)
My Self (track 9)
Neuro Alien (track 2)
Only You (track 3)


electronic organ: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
electric piano: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
percussion: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
keyboard: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
piano: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
bass synthesizer: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
additional photography: Krzysztof Stasiak (video, photography, Poland)
additional programming: David Farren
Larry Holcombe (Get to Know)
arranger: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
art direction: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
background vocals: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
co-producer: Larry Holcombe (Get to Know)
composer: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
graphic design: David Farren
guest cymbal, double bass, electric bass guitar, electric guitar and percussion: David Farren
guest background vocals: Lidia Pacak (singer, composer)
guest spoken vocals: David Hyatt (speaks on Aspaklaria)
lead vocals: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
lyricist: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
mastering: Stuart Hawkes (Mastering engineer)
miscellaneous support: Jan Allain
David Hyatt (speaks on Aspaklaria)
mixer: Matthew Lawrence (engineer)
photography: M.K. Ceesay (video, UK)
Evrim Ozarslan (photography, UK)
producer: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
recording engineer: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
vocals arranger: Jarmila Xymena Gorna
ASIN: UK: B07C5H87S8 [info]
purchase for download: [info] [info]
CD Baby [info]
stream for free: [info]