Originally Published: November 14, 2009 9:42 p.m.
A musician who literally looked death in the face "with great courage" is on tour again and will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday at The Raven Café.
Shortly before singer and songwriter Moksha Sommer began the recording process for "Trapeze" with her band, DuHost, she thought she was "going insane." She was "seized with visions of alternate worlds filled with hungry ghosts peering" at her, she said. Doctors diagnosed a brain tumor, she had surgery, has since recovered, and she and DuHost are on a Southwest tour.
Sommer and Jemal Wade Hines, both core members of DuHost, will appear as a duo in their performance at The Raven.
Their music, with Sommer on lead vocals and harmonium (similar to a base accordion) and Hines on backup vocals and a variety of guitars, including a bouzouki (a Greek fretted lute), is described as experimental world rock, also known as country and eastern fusion.
The recording process for "Trapeze" took place between Sommer's diagnosis and her surgery. Yet none of the songs DuHost recorded reflect her health but instead speak of yearning, darkness and raw vulnerability that people experience at one time or another and the consequent hope and love that people often feel when they are jolted out of their habitual patterns. The songs also subtly mirror the mind-altering seizures that the tumor randomly caused from time to time.
Since Sommer had no way of knowing whether she would die from undergoing the surgery, the songs on "Trapeze" do evoke a sense of potential finality.
With that behind her, though, the Raven audience can look forward to Sommer and Hines' eclectic indie style - a synergy of traditional Sufi music, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian and Balkan folk music, Georgian, Farsi, Turkish, folk, pop, and rock.
The Raven Café is located at 142 N. Cortez St. in Prescott. For more information, call 717-0009.