The Guardian on MAMZER/BASTARD
“We’re crammed in along one wall of a rehearsal studio in Hackney, east London – hoodies and coffee cups, bare walls and strip lighting – as two singers work on a short scene..The vocal lines are lyrical, but hesitantly so, fixating on just a handful of notes: a mother and son are struggling to communicate. It’s powerful, painful to watch, even in this raw form – but it’s also constantly evolving.. There’s certainly no space for operatic cliches in the Hackney rehearsal..The piece in rehearsal is Mamzer Bastard, a new chamber work by Na’ama Zisser, the doctoral composer-in-residence at the Royal Opera House.”
Van Magazine on MAMZER/BASTARD
“Her music, combining traditional Jewish melodies and quarter-tonal trills with all the expanded sonorities and extended techniques of 20th century composition, is sensuous without being trite; subtle without being slight. Through a deft skein of small gestures, Zisser is able to build up a sound world high on atmospherics, gossamer-light and richly engrossing”
Jewish Chronicle on MAMZER/BASTARD
“Zisser's sound world is far from standard-issue modernism: it is distinctive for its keening strings in quarter-tones, off-centre effects that destabilise the scene as if from within the characters themselves; electronics are seamlessly integrated, uncompromising chunky chords measure out emotions to match, and resonant percussive effects create chilling auras of sound. Above all, there's urgent human warmth at the core of it”
The Guardian on MAMZER/BASTARD
“Zisser embeds the narrative in a constantly shifting soundscape of darkening harmonies and subtle textural gradations that create continuously evolving patterns of tension and release. Cantorial music, introduced into opera for the first time, punctuates the narrative with moments of communal reflection, while electronic sound suggests the distant rumble of the city in which the work is set”
The Stage on
“Zisser’s own music is eclectic, sometime sparse, sometimes layered, sometimes hauntingly melodic”
Drowned In C
“Na’ama Zisser's work, “Drowned In C” opened the evening convincingly. The ensemble played with gentle force, creating delicate textures and sounds that slowly shifted and dispersed in space. Zisser, who was born in 1988, was present in the hall and received enthusiastic round of applause, and rightfully so”
"The unnerving atmosphere was skilfully created, highlighting the incurable fragility of the human psyche"
"Exhilarating and rewarding journey"
Space Melts Like Sand Running Through Fingers
“An excellent concert from the Melos Sinfonia, opening with the world premiere performance of Na’ama Zisser’s Space melts like sand running through fingers, its title taken from a book by George Perec, the starting point, according to the composer, ‘the way in which we remember spaces that are close to us, and how these change in our memory over time’.. Opening with just strings, other instruments joined, creating a sound that initially suggested minimalism, but soon became harmonically much more interesting than that. Shards, clusters came and went, not unlike, at least on the surface, the Ligeti of Lontano..”