She Moves Between Worlds: Lhasa de Sela

Lhasa de Sela

Lhasa de Sela


A radio documentary remembering singer-songwriter Lhasa de Sela.


Without question, Lhasa de Sela, who performed under the name Lhasa, had a unique childhood. American born, she lived on a bus exploring the United States and Mexico with her mother and father, her three sisters, two cats and three birds. She eventually came to Canada where she spent much of her adult life, and settled in Montreal's Mile End. She surrounded herself with fellow artists and musicians.


Lhasa was never concerned with the vagaries of the music market but that didn't stop her three albums from being huge successes. Her debut album, La Llorona, came out in 1997 and went platinum in Canada and won a Felix Award and a Juno. Her 2003 album The Living Road was named one of the ten best world albums of the last decade by the Times of London. Lhasa sang in multiple languages, moving between Spanish, French and English as fluidly as she moved between time-zones and landscapes.

When Lhasa died New Year's Day 2010 at the age of 37, it came as a shock. In Montreal, it's said that it was as if the world had ground to a halt. Her website reported that it snowed for more than forty hours after her departure. A number of months after Lhasa died, writer and broadcaster Madonna Hamel rediscovered a conversation she'd recorded with Lhasa a few years earlier. She decided to go to Montreal and share that recording with some of Lhasa's fellow artists and friends. The result is this documentary featuring a mix of voices and song, including parts of her original conversation with Lhasa.


'She Moves Between Worlds' was written and produced by Madonna Hamel. It was recognized with a Silver World Medal at the New York FestivalsIt in 2012, the year after it first aired on the CBC Radio program 'Inside The Music'.

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