For this album, the first recording for Mechon Hadar's Minyan Project, we wanted to capture the sound of spontaneous Jewish singing, pure, simple, and unaccompanied, and to create a recording that would be enjoyable to listen to while also serving as an accessible learning tool for average people who want to sing. Here's the result - an eclectic mix of singers, both professional and amateur, from varying backgrounds, pouring their hearts into song. Indeed, the focus here is on the sound of collective musical invention, not necessarily perfection. The melodies are set, but the musical arrangements are created in the moment, as a result of a careful process of the singers listening and responding to each other. You'll hear us taking musical risks, which sometimes result in unscripted moments of serene harmony or mini train-wrecks, but either way, it's compellingly, undeniably real. We hope that this album can provide an inspirational (and attainable) singing model for communities throughout the country, demonstrating the beauty that's possible when people come together with their ears open, ready to GO FOR IT AND SING. Thank you for listening, and enjoy! --JW
Thank you to the singers on this album - Elise Bernhardt, Mattisyahu Brown, Cantor Jen Cohen, Robbie Dvorkin, Benjy Fox-Rosen, Yoshie Fruchter, Eric Gold, Yosef Goldman, Cantor Matthew Klein, Dr. Chaim Kranzler, Annie Lewis, Aviva Richman, Shoshi Rosenbaum, Arielle Rubenstein, Lani Santo, Gella Solomon, Deborah Strauss, Miriam-Simma Walfish, Jeff Warschauer, and Sam Weisenberg.
Thank you to the dripping ceiling, to the reverberant subwoofer of a floor, and to all the bird from around the neighborhood who gathered outside the windows to sing with us. Thanks especially to Don Godwin for capturing all of these sounds and clapping along.
Special Thanks to Kane Street Synagogue (especially to Rabbi Sam Weintraub, Vicky Vossen and Linda Mahler) for encouraging us to record in the Kane Street chapel, to Aryeh Bernstein for helping to create the idea for this album, and to Rabbi Elie Kaunfer and Mechon Hadar for enthusiastically supporting this project. Thank you to all of my teachers and fellow musicians and singers who have taught me so much along the way. Thank you to my sons Lev and Mozi, and especially to Molly Weingrod for her loving support and inspiration. Thanks!