Crazy mountain tunes

Eyal Sela and his sextet fuse music from the Moroccan cultural hinterland with klezmer and even Druze material.

Wind multi-instrumentalist Eyal Sela has taken a leaf out of the cabbalists' book in basing his latest production on the spirit and energies generated at Mount Meron in the Galilee. This Thursday Sela and his sextet will perform material from his Tunes from the Crazy Mountain project, at Beit Shmuel in Jerusalem (8:30 p.m.), which fuses mesmerizing music from the Moroccan cultural hinterland with klezmer and even Druze material.
The powerful repertoire feeds off the energies and mystic ambiance of ceremonies held at Mount Meron, seasoned with the ecstatic dance rituals performed in the euphoric atmosphere of the Galilean outcrop.
"Long before [pop icon] Madonna, people were drawn to the spiritual way of life of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai, the cabbalist author of the Zohar," notes Sela. "Over the years, musical traditions from Turkey, Morocco, Greece and Ashkenaz filtered into this night of celebration [at Meron], and combined to create world music."
Sela also explains that the music tradition at Meron evolved over several centuries, taking in liturgical material from Morocco and klezmer and other music, adding that he took the end product from Meron and is now offering its emotive synthesis to the general public.
At Thursday's concert Sela will play on a range of instruments, including Turkish clarinet, zorna and bansuri - an Indian bamboo flute- and on vocals, and he will be joined by Mark Elyahu on kamanche (spiked violin with different versions originating from Persia, Azerbaijain and elsewhere), Wassim Auda on oud, Gilad Efrat on bass guitar, Aviad Ben Yehdua on Middle Eastern percussion instruments and Yohai Cohen on Asian and Middle Eastern percussion instruments, and vocals.