Sunday, March 16, 2008

Peace Through Music

What do you imagine would happen if you put thirty five religious and secular Jews, Christians, Muslims and Druze in an ancient building in an ancient center of Jewish Mysticism in Northern Israel?

They create harmony, that's what.

Sometimes difficult situations birth the mothers of invention.
And many mothers there are. Dr. Essica Marks, who you will see at the end of this video, along with Vered Yaakovich, two forward thinking, open minded women, one a kibbutz dweller, the other a religious Jew, co-direct the new three year academy which combines a unique blend of ethnic music: from Klezmer and Hasidic music to classical Arabic and Turkish Maqam with other mediterranean, Irish, Gospel, and Accappella music thrown in to round out the multi-cultural repertoire.

I am fortunate to lead the singing department of the college. This video begins with one of my students Lubna Salame, joined by other students as they warm up for the concert given on Thursday evening at Bet Hadassah in the ancient city of Safed.

Leading other departments are Yair Dallal, who leads the Jewish Arab music section who you can see in the following video, leading the orchestra in the opening piece:

Eyal Sela, who heads the Mediteranean Music and Wind Department, and Eyal Shiloach who heads the Hasidic Music and Violin Department followed with a wonderful blend of Hasidic and Klezmer music. Following was a traditional Arabic composition conducted by Emad Dallal, who heads the classical Arabic Music Department:

Unfortunately the battery of my phone cum video ran out, preventing me from recording the beautiful performances of the singers. Fortunately I was able to get a short clip of Shira Yaari singing a beautiful classic Israeli folk tune:

Every person involved in this school, from the administrators, to the teachers to the students to the audience who came to listen to our first concert are to be commended for contributing to a very constructive program.

Please pass it on. If you would like to learn more about the many faceted directions of Israeli music, check out wikipedia:

To hear more music peace:

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Female Singers and the Prophetess Miriam

It's a trend with me. Female singers. Druze, Christian, Jewish. They come wanting to connect with a deeper voice inside. They are already beautiful singers in their own right. Many of them earn their living from the art.

Yesterday, I received yet another new client. She is Druze from the village of Magd Al Shams on the Syrian Border. Five minutes from her village is Berekhat Ram,

the lake where the Archeulian Goddess (shown above) was recently found. This stone figurine,is dated between 50-80,000 years old.

The soft power of the feminine, is rock solid.

The prophetess Miriam, led the Hebrews in celebration upon their successful crossing of the Red Sea to freedom from slavery in Egypt. She was a powerful leader in her own right. I suspect that she was most likely a highly regarded priestess in the Eypgtian temple of Hathor. Since her baby brother Moses, whom she guarded in the bulrushes, convincing the pharoahs daughter to adopt him, ended up a prince, Miriam too was inside the court.

We have Miriam to thank for quietly leading behind the scenes and for saving the ancient powerful techniques of voice and rhythm for sound health and happiness. I have made a commitment to serve as a modern midwife bridging the ancient technologies for modern use.

The Druze, are a sect whose ties are also in Egypt. They fled persecution as well, and settled in the high places of Northern Israel, Syria and Lebanon. I don't think it is by happenstance that all of the wonderful women singers are coming to me to connect more deeply with their voice. Their culture has a strong base founded in the reverence of the feminine divine.

Miriam's power is most definately coming back.