Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Hannuka!! "Circle of Fire": A Hanukah Concert - Songs of the Sephardim, Volume V - Voice of the Turtle, Judith Wachs Director

The Voice of the Turtle ensemble specializes in Sephardic music (that is, Jewish music both vocal and instrumental, in the Ladino language). Originally from the Iberian peninsula, The Sephardic people (Sephardim) lived mostly in Spain and Portugal, evolving what would become their distinctive characteristics and diasporic identity. Due to persecution, forced religious conversion vs. death, and the Spanish expulsion, the majority of the Sephardim left these lands for places such as the Ottoman Empire (including regions part of modern Turkey) and other parts of the Middle East, and North Africa. The other major (ethnic) branch of Judaism, indeed much larger- is/are the "Ashkenazi", Jews from Eastern Europe (like myself, I have family from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania...). Whilst 'modern' music exists inspired by Sephardic traditions, Sephardic music is an ancient/early music-beautiful, exotic to most ears, full of celebration and mourning, longing, love, poetry, humor, storytelling....the human experience filtered and spiced thru a particular Judaic lens.

There are many volumes in this series, three 'Holiday' discs while the rest are part of a series called
"Paths to Exile" which offers musics from the particular regions where the Sephardim settled and built their unique communities. It's an exceptional series. I believe this volume is the only live recording. I will try to find time soon to write more about the music contained on this disc.

Track list:

1. Ocho Kendelikas
2. Vayhi Mikets
3. Kita'l Tas
4. Siete Ijos Tiene Hanna
5. Mi Ze Yemalel
6. Mizmor Shir Hanukat Habayit
7. Una Matika De Ruda
8. Nani Nani
9. Benedicyon
10. Hanuka
11. La Vido do Por El Raki
12. Gantis I Kravata Blanka
13. En Mi guerta Vey Mama
14. La Berendjena
15. Mirame Las Gambas Mama
16. Adio Kerida
17. Hanerot Hallalu



Anonymous said...

Thanks! It is a lovely collection of Jewish music! I went a few days ago to Hanukkah concert with my wife and enjoyed it greatly.

Post more Jewish music, if you can!

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!


Tzadik said...

Hi there Piterets, you are quite welcome friend. What was on the program at the Hannuka concert? There's so much music! I have a ton of Jewish music (not only because I am Jewish) of all kinds, klezmer (authentic/historic, jazz-inflected, experimental), a lot of John Zorn and his label in general, Sephardic (including the whole Voice of theTurtle discog), Cantorial, Hasidic tunes, choral, modern Israeli, and even moreso "classical" of course (from Salamone Rossi to 21st century etc. etc.). Happy new year and holidays to you too! TZ

Anonymous said...

The ensemble was Klez Dispensers, playing some klezmer tunes and songs in Yiddish, as well as English. The singer was Inna Barmash, and Lev Zhurbin was a guest viola player. They are from NYC. Lovely Russian-speaking couple, and I was glad to meet him, since I know his music.

My wife has some Jewish roots, so she was excited about the concert as well.


Tzadik said...

Hi Piterets, sounds great. I'm not familiar with Klez-Dispensers (great name though!), probably because I was insanely into Klezmer for many many years and last few years i haven't kept up enough on what is new. I do like Lev Zhurbin however, but don't know off-hand if I know Inna Barmash. I have seen the Klezmatics in concert 5 times, met them twice, and they couldn't be nicer. Also saw "Brave Old World" twice, a really great ensemble. And many other ensembles, mostly in New York and Massachusetts. A highlight was seeing the great clarinetist David Krakauer perform years ago with his Klezmer Madness! project/ensemble. That was great, as are his discs on Tzadik. I have at least a dozen fav ensembles, and a good hundred or so Klezmer discs, experimental to standard and authentic East European. I should post some in the future..
Best, TZ

Anonymous said...

Many thanks!