Jewish Discs: Para-liturgical fusions

Shaharit

By
October 19, 2005 00:56
2 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Shaharit

Jewish holy para-liturgical poetry is called piyut, and contemporary interest in in the ever-growing canon of piyutim is currently reaching a fever pitch. Active weekly Kehillot Sharot piyut study workshops are creeping up all over Israel, the new comprehensive "Hazamanah L'Piyut" Web site at www.piyut.org.il is drawing thousands of users every week, and piyut-oriented bands are selling out auditoriums all over the world.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Fronted by Roni Ishran, who also serves as one of the leaders of Kehillot Sharot, the Jerusalem-based Shaharit ensemble has recently released their debut album, Shaharit, to much fanfare, including a sold-out CD release performance at Jerusalem's Beit Shmuel.

The disc is an elegant and mesmerizing journey into the world of piyutim through the prism of the Oriental Diaspora (although there is a major connection between piyut and Ashkenazi culture, it's primary vibrancy has always been carried out by Jews from Arab lands). Shaharit therefore draws from the style of classical Judeo-Arab ethnic folk instrumentations and structures, and the few texts sung here are from the Psalms and old-time piyutim - yet almost all of the album's compositions are originals. A meeting place between the ancient classics and contemporary pop culture, Shaharit is a very promising debut album. Asefa

Speaking about her own piyut group, the Hayona Ensemble, Ben Gurion University professor of music Haviva Pedaya says, "In today's culture, many incorporate the West into their love of the East. That's legitimate, but I think that the West is represented enough." Pedaya's sentiments are certainly justified, and the importance of purist endeavors like Hayona's recent Yonat Rehokim (and its slightly less purist, yet beautiful cousin Shaharit) is undeniable. But of arguably equal significance is the fusion of flavors heard on New York-based Asefa's new eponymous recording.

Mixing a load of piyut-style motifs with a pinch of shtetl seasoning (plenty of clarinet ) and some hints of contemporary Western jazz and even hard rock, Asefa is new-school Jewish poly-ethnic fusion at its best. The house band of the Jewish Awareness Through Music organization, Asefa and frontman/founder Samuel Thomas lead educational cultural workshops, with the goal of connecting all elements of the Diaspora; the coming to light of this recording takes Thomas's goals a long way.



Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys

By JTA