Music has since the beginning been a part of Jewish divine expression and a means of attaining higher states of connection. To this end many beautiful and inspired songs, dveykus niggunim, have been composed by the holy Rebbes and sages of the Jewish people.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught that music is the main means by which two separate entities can become united. That in picking the good notes from the bad ones, and the good winds from the air column of the instrument, a musicians can show everyone and everything in its best light.
This half length demo album is the fruits of a year of experimenting with this repertoire, in a minimalist, improvisational way, with just clarinet and bass, and sometimes percussion - to let the melody speak for itself, and express the original intent, while allowing for the personal expression of the players. This project began appropriately, late one motsaei shabbes (Saturday night) in the Laurentian mountains, and promises to go much further.
Drawing from the traditions of Modzitz, Breslov, other chassidic traditions, as well as the piyutim of Iraq, Morocco, Turkey and others - the repertoire is vast and beautiful.
1. Histalkus niggun - composed and sung by R' Michel Zlotchover zts"l - he used to tell his assistant to keep an eye on him when he sung it, as he was worried that he would reach such an ecstatic state that his soul would leave his body. One night the assistant fell asleep...
2. Amar Hashem LeYakov - composed by the first Rebbe of Modzitz, Rebbe Yisroel Taub zy"a - often sung on the way to a chuppa, as well as at the meal honouring the departing Sabbath.
3. Ad Ana Yona - a piyut with words composed by the Ben Ish Chai, Rabbi Yosef Hayyim zts"l from Baghdad - and set to a melody by R' Abdalla Hanin
4. Dem Trisker Rebn's Chossid - a traditional tune from Eastern Europe that came to America as part of the klezmer repertoire of Dave Tarras, and which is now a standard in the klezmer cannon
5. Eishes Chayil, Oiz ve Hadar - Two melodies from the Breslov tradition. The melody for Eishes Chayil was sung by the Baal Shem Tov, R' Yisrael ben Eliezer ztsvk"l in the Rosh HaShana liturgy, as "Atah Nigleisa" and was switched by Rebbe Nachman for this Friday night recitation from Proverbs. The tune of Oz veHadar was a wedding present from R' Meir Leib Blecher to his daughter, for whom he didn't have the money to buy a wedding dress - the text is "Clothe her with glory and beauty, and she will laugh at the end of days". R' Meir Leib was a student of R' Nosson, the student of Rebbe Nachman zy"a.
6. Mikdash Melech - a beautiful melody from the Breslov tradition used in the Friday night services as part of Lecha Doidi
7. Bemotsaei Yom Menucha - the original impetus for this project - a beautiful tune dedicated to the departing Sabbath, from the Breslov tradition.
Thank you for having a look, and for your support!
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