International vocal artist Victoria Hanna comes to Blackburg for a free performance on Monday, March 2 at 8 p.m.

The performance will be held in the Recital Salon, located within the Squires Student Center at 290 College Ave.

Public Radio International has called Hanna the “freshest, edgiest, weirdest artist on the Israeli airwaves today.” She describes her music as combining “Jewish mysticism, Dada, surrealism, and spiky feminism.” 

A rabbi’s daughter, Hanna grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family in Jerusalem. As a child, she stuttered, but turned the stutter to her advantage by harnessing it as part of her expression. Language became her tool for creation, using the tones of the Hebrew and Aramaic languages in her songs.

Hanna draws inspiration from the ancient Hebrew tradition, which relates to the voice, mouth, and letters of the Hebrew alphabet as tools of creation. According to the Kabbalah, the world was created through these 22 letters, with each one symbolic of, and relating to, a specific element in the universe and in the human body.

Watch her 2015 video “The Aleph-bet song,” which went viral on YouTube.

Hanna’s work also includes exploring ways to give physical presence to vocal sound vibrations, as demonstrated in this video

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Gershon Waiserfirer, a native of Tajikistan, joins Hanna in the performance. He is embedded in the Israeli music scene in almost every genre, from traditional Jewish music to free improvised music, and regularly composes for movies and theater. 

On Tuesday, March 3 at 2 p.m., Hanna will conduct a free workshop, using vocal methods as a means of “physical and emotional healing, strength, and empowerment,” as she explores the relationship between language and sound. The workshop will be held in the Graduate Life Center, Room F, located at 155 Otey St., on the main Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg. Find out more here. 

The events are sponsored by The Malcolm and Diane Rosenberg Program in Judaic Studies in the Department of Religion and Culture, the Women and Minority Artists and Scholars Program, the School of Performing Arts, and the Center for the Humanities

Free parking is available after 5 p.m. weekdays in the Squires Lot, located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Street, in the Architecture Annex Lot on Otey Street, and in the Perry Street/Prices Fork lots. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200. Alternative parking is available in the Kent Squires parking garage and the Farmers Market metered parking lot, both located on Draper Road. Additional downtown Blacksburg parking information is available online.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire accommodation, please contact Susan Sanders at 540-231-5200 or email during regular business hours.

Upcoming School of Performing Arts events include “From the Page to the Stage: Making History Sing: A conversation with playwright Catherine Bush” (March 5); “Mosaic for Earth,” a new work for choir and orchestra (April 3); and the musical “Pippin” (April 23–26). View all School of Performing Arts events here.

Written by Susan Sanders