Discovering the ethereal, otherworldly music of Rebekah Eden is to behold a ravishing jewel bathed in Light. First, you’re struck dumb with awe, then you’re filled with grace. The unique talent of this singer/composer/producer crosses all musical boundaries. Since 1987, her shimmering soprano of 3-1/2 octaves has been thrilling audiences around the world in repertoire as diverse as opera, avant-garde and classical song, but especially in her own compositions that leave audiences deeply moved by their transcendental sacredness. Critics have called her performances “gorgeous” and “majestic.” Her own music has been described as “A Score for the Divine.”
Now comes her latest offering to the Gods, “Rowing in Eden.” An homage to the brightest light in all of us, the album wanders poetically through life’s mysteries from hardship and fear to the crowning glory of love. “Rowing in Eden” reflects the spiritual journey of its creator, a struggling single mom wounded by broken hearts and the near loss of her fiancée, only to rebound in marriage and the birth of a daughter. The 12-song collection took Rebekah five years and thousands of miles to complete, from a 41-piece orchestra in the Czech Republic to the state-of-the-art recording studios of New York City. “Rowing In Eden” is influenced by artists as ecumenical as W.B Yeats, J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert Plant, and delivered in Rebekah’s trademark radiance.
The road to this extraordinary body of work has been uniquely Rebekah’s. The American-born daughter of a U.S. Foreign Service officer, she grew up in cities around the world, absorbing genres from Bach to Led Zeppelin to John Adams. At Oberlin College, she auditioned “on a lark” for the school’s estimable Oberlin Conservatory and was accepted, eventually receiving her B.A. in German literature and a B.Music in voice performance.
Her artistry bloomed in Europe, where Rebekah sang opera and oratorio, astounding audiences with her heart-touching ability to transmit palpable compassion through her voice. Her musicianship, liquid legato, and lightning-speed coloratura also allowed her to embrace more modern music.
With the Rock Creek Chamber Players, she revealed the full range of her emotional range in such works as Shostakovich's brooding “Romance Suite,“ for which she earned standing ovations from sold-out audiences.
Despite her vocal versatility, Rebekah eventually came to discover that her true musical destiny lay in her own compositions. Reeling from a crushing romantic betrayal, she holed up in a rehearsal room while her son was in daycare and began to write what would become her first CD, entitled The Path of Gold. Recorded in 1999, the album combines her own haunting, multi-tracked melodies with the revelatory antiphons of the great medieval saint Hildegard of Bingen. The creative process of writing and singing her own songs was curative, drawing her deeper within herself, with the result that her voice started to take on new colors. "I surrendered every pretense and allowed sound to well up from places I had never explored," she explains.
At the heart of Rebekah’s work is both the ecstasy and the agony of the hero’s journey. In late 2003, the near-death combat injury of her fiancée Michael Weisskopf, a reporter then embedded in Iraq, as well as the later passing of his translator, Omar Hashim Kamal, inspired her to write and record three singles: “My Beloved” and “Never Far Away,” songs of remembrance and gratitude, and the ethereally loving “Omar,” a lullaby for a dear friend clinging to life. Mr. Kamal never lived to hear the song Rebekah wrote for him, but it remains a testimony to the strength and courage of all those who give their lives for freedom.
The themes of Love, Home, Heart and Purpose suffuse Rebekah's three earlier CDs: The Path of Gold, which can be heard on the soundtrack of the critically acclaimed film The Conductor (Edgewood Pictures, NYC, 2000); the angelic special edition album Invocation, co-produced with Academy Award winner Donny Markowitz, which debuted at London's Kensington Town Hall; and Three Songs for the Journey, inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's novel The Hobbit.
In 2011, in an exciting turnaround of genre, Rebekah co-wrote and produced AOL founder James Kimsey's CD debut, My First Rodeo, a rollicking set of country-western songs that perfectly captured his special brand of humor.
A successful teacher of voice in the DC area, Rebekah lives in Washington with now-husband Michael, daughter Mari and an ever-changing cast of their children from previous relationships.
A portion of Rebekah's musical proceeds goes to support scholarships for youth in the North Carolina Outward Bound and Intercept Outward Bound wilderness programs. A portion also benefits the Uplift-Aufwind, an inspired organization that brings transformative support to special-needs orphans in the former Soviet Union.