The rise of antisemitic rhetoric is heartbreaking and scary. I cannot pretend this isn’t happening. Now more than ever we need to speak out against antisemitism and hate. There was a time when my family felt compelled to hide their name in the shadows. I will do everything I can to make sure that never happens again. I thought this would be a good time to share with you my Jewish heritage and how it has influenced me and my work.
Liberman, my fifth full length record was released seven years ago. Liberman was my Grandpa Allan’s original last name. Allan was born in America in 1921. He was an artist. In 1940, during World War II, he joined the Air Force. When he returned from the War he decided he would change his last name (from Liberman to Lee) because he thought his business and his family would be safer if they didn’t appear to be Jewish. He then opened a shirt business in New York City called Mather Shirts Ltd. The story goes, Ralph Lipschitz (who later became Ralph Lauren), a very young tie salesman, was enamored with the Mather Shirts showroom and was inspired by Allan’s fabric choices and designs. My mother tells me that Mather Shirts was the first shop in NYC to make the Oxford button down shirt cut for a woman. I can’t verify this information because everyone has passed but that is really cool. I am proud of my family and who we are. I am proud to be Jewish and with this album I wanted to shine light on our family name that lived in the shadows. In addition to that, most of this music was written while I stared at one of my Grandpa’s paintings. The painting in this post was in direct eye line when I sat at the piano. I would look at the colors and play. Music is medicine. Writing this record healed a part of me. I hope that Liberman soothes your mind and that it gives you the space to be who you are.
Produced by Steve Osborne at Real World Studios, Box, England. Artwork by Jo Ratcliffe. Special thanks to Brick Wall Management for helping get this one across the finish line.