When I Arrived You Were Already There
This is the solo CD debut for Aviva Chernick, who also performs as lead singer of the JUNO-nominated group Jaffa Road. Jaffa Road, like many of the other groups she performs with, explores a wide variety of world music. This recording reflects her work leading devotional music in the Jewish community, including at a number of Toronto’s temples and synagogues.
Her melodies on English and Hebrew texts are presented in a lovely, simple and accessible chant-like style. They transport the listener with a meditative and transcendent character, while the accompanying musicians on a number of exotic instruments provide more intricate and varied textures elegantly lending elements of rock, jazz and world fusion. One of the songs, Chadesh yameinu, borrows its melody with a tip of the hat to the Indian-Persian duo Ghazal.
Aviva maintains a forthright manner and purity of tone in her vocal style, as do her many notable guest singers. The relationships of breath/spirit, creativity/divinity, nature/renewal, family and community are explored on many levels in this deeply heartfelt and personal offering. The title When I Arrived You Were Already Thereis an invitation to the listener to look deeply within and return to peace.