Techelet Ensemble | And i will hope for him

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Spiritual: Judaica Jazz: World Fusion Moods: Type: Improvisational
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And i will hope for him

by Techelet Ensemble

A truly Israeli-Jewish CD full of world music and folk influenced jazz.
Genre: Spiritual: Judaica
Release Date: 

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1. Shabbat Rosh Chodesh
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10:04 $0.99
2. Chol Hamoed Pesach
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4:57 $0.99
3. Niggun Simcha
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3:39 $0.99
4. Adir
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6:57 $0.99
5. Niggun Shabbat
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4:16 $0.99
6. VechikitinL'Hashem
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6:35 $0.99
7. Shabbat Rosh Chodesh (concert version )
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6:40 $0.99
8. Chanuka Lights
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8:07 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"This music reminds us that such a thing called peace, such a thing called love exists on earth."

That's what legendary klezmer clarinetist Giora Feidman said after he heard the concert version of the tune "Shabbat Rosh Hodesh" from the Techelet Ensemble's new album, "And I Will Hope for Him."

It happened on Shlomo Yisraeli's program, Maavarim [Passages], on Israel's classical and contemporary music station, the Voice of Music. Giora Feidman had been invited to present his new album, a tribute to Astor Piazzolla. Then the host, Shlomo Yisraeli, played Yoel Taieb's composition, "Shabbat Rosh Hodesh," recorded live at the Renanot Jewish Music Festival, and asked Giora what he thought. This is what he said:

"It's beautiful, so beautiful to make music like that. You can see that this group is really, really searching. On the other hand, the idea of the shepherd keeping his flock in the field . . . Where we are today, it's hard to go out into the field, but at least, through music, it's possible. . . . This group is creating a kind of Jewish-Israeli chamber music. It reminds one that there are such things as love and peace in this world. There are such things. Really, there are.



Techelet Ensemble:
Jewish Mysticism and Musical Improvisation

By Yossef ben Raphael - from the Jerusalem Post (French edition) December 2001


With the appearance of their first album, "Vehikiti Lashem ...Vekiviti Lo," we meet the Techelet Ensemble, an Israeli music group whose highly original music links Jewish mysticism and musical improvisation. If you ask the members of Techelet to describe the kind of music they produce, they will answer, "MaYiM" -- an acronym for "modern Jewish music" (in Hebrew, musica yehudit modernit).

This is derived from the verse in Isaiah: "You shall draw water (mayim) joyfully from the wells of salvation." In Jewish thought, water represents purity and renewal. "The wells of salvation" hint at the tzaddikim (righteous people), the great visionaries who compose the holy melodies that make up part of the Techelet repertoire.

The group started off with four musicians, all ba'alei teshuva (newly observant Jews) who had been involved with other musical styles before returning to their Jewish roots. Yoel Taieb (guitars) was part of an ethnic jazz trio with the French double bass player Renaud Garcia-Fons. Reuven ben Hanan (violin) was playing be-bop in Moscow jazz clubs. David Louis (trumpet, flutes) was studying Indian music in California with the master Sarod player, Ali Akhbar Khan. Israel Edelson (piano, keyboards), a former assistant to Leonard Bernstein, was conducting symphony orchestras all over the world.

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov turned out to be a "well of salvation," as well as a musical and spiritual inspiration, for the members of the ensemble. Himself a composer of sublime melodies, this eighteenth-century hassidic master revealed the vital role of music and dance in Divine service and the attainment of devekut (close attachment to God). A child prodigy, he dedicated his whole life to the search for the shir hadash, the "new song." This shir hadash is described in Kabbalistic writings (Tikkunei Zohar, 13, 27b) as a "single, double, triple and quadruple song." It is formed from the ten types of melodies which took part in the creation of the world. It is like an Ur-song which contains the entirety of human musical cultures. It has the power to heal humankind and rekindle the lights of faith and joy.

The word "techelet" shares a root with the Hebrew word for "purpose," tachlit. Techelet means the azure dye used for part of the Jewish ritual fringes (tzitzit). It is the shade of the sky as reflected in the sea, the shade of Hebrew spirituality. When one looks at this dyed fringe on a certain garment, one is reminded of the purpose, the tachlit, of life. In Rebbe Nachman's teachings, this color represents the soul of King David, who was a poet and musician. Also, King David is the ancestor of the Messiah, whose principal mission will be to play the "new song" on a seventy-two stringed musical instrument.

"After I returned to active Jewish practice," recalls Techelet founder Yoel Taieb, "I had no desire to play jazz anymore. Then I had the idea of picking up melodies composed by great hasidic masters, from the Baal Shem Tov all the way to Reb Shlomo Carlebach, including such masters as Rebbe Nachman and the Seer of Lublin. I began to improvise upon them. The personal compositions followed after a while. Bela Bartok, John McLaughlin, and the ECM label musicians took the same step, blending folk music with the European classical tradition, or blending folk music and jazz. In this way, they create an association between musicians of very different cultures."

Three of the eight pieces that constitute the album are traditional hassidic melodies, or niggunim. Niggun Simcha (Track 3) is a melody from the court of Habad Lubavitch, arranged for four guitars. This arrangement by Yoel Taieb uses several layers of recordings, shows strong gypsy and blues influences, and features a highly inventive guitar solo. It is a tribute to three great jazz guitarists: John McLaughlin, Django Reinhardt and Bireli Lagrene.

Adir, Ayom ve'Nora (Track 4) is a moving Breslov melody, embellished with a piccolo introduction. Its nuances are reminiscent of Japanese music. Niggun Shabbat v'Yom Tov (Track 5) is a well-known melody sung during the third meal on Shabbat. Through Yisrael Edelson's inspiration, the original 6/8 rhythm has been changed to 5/4, a nod to the famous Paul Desmond piece, "Take Five."

The other melodies on the disc are original compositions by Yoel Taieb, David Louis, and Israel Edelson. They are full of feeling and are used for improvisation, often collectively. The language of Techelet uses an agglomeration of different musical styles, and as such gives statement to the hassidic soul. In this music, you will find expressions of hope, faith, and fervor, all of which bring some of Jerusalem's holy light to the listener's heart.

As time passed, new musicians joined the Techelet Ensemble, broadening its musical horizons and tone palette once again. In the 2001 Klezmer Festival in Safed, the band had six musicians. Here are the newcomers:

Moshe Yankowski (percussion, tablas, drums), a follower of the great Trilok Gurtu, brings a new energy to the band that propels the soloists.

Naor Carmi, a former member of Shlomo Bar's group, Habrera Hativ'it, plays the double bass and also the tanbur, a Turkish bowed musical instrument, something between a cello and a sarangui. His profound knowledge and love of Oriental music are evident in his compositions and have led to a renewal in the interpretation of certain tunes in the Techelet repertoire.

Last but not least, Yoni Dror on saxophones, flute, doudouk (an Armenian oboe) and didgeridoo (an Australian aboriginal instrument). We'd like to point out that Yoni is the only musician in the band who is not religiously observant. He lives in Tel Aviv and wears an earring, but feels completely at ease in the midst of the group, as he confided to us: "There is something in this music that speaks to the heart of every Jew." He feels that it even has a universal dimension.

Techelet concerts are a musical and spiritual experience. Sometimes, part of the concert turns into an event where the audience is invited to participate in a prayer for world peace based on a text by Rabbi Nathan of Nemirov, Rebbe Nachman's main disciple. The prayer is structured in four sections based on the single, double, triple, and quadruple song mentioned above. It includes variations on musical motifs by Shlomo Carlebach or is improvised in the moment.

Techelet has appeared on television, at important Jewish music and klezmer festivals, and at Jewish cultural events. The ensemble has appeared several times at the Zionist Confederation House, the renowned Jerusalem stage for contemporary, improvisational, and ethnic music. Techelet also appeared on Israel Radio's classical music station, The Voice of Music, which featured the group's improvised symphony, "Future World," a fifty-minute improvisation on a melody by Israel Edelson. The legendary klezmer musician, Giora Feidman, was asked for his comments, which you can read below.

The Techelet Ensemble has succeeded in creating world music with a distinctly Jewish-Israeli flavor. This original musical style combines Jewish melodies and scholarly music, written and improvisational styles, rhythmic experiments and harmonic investigations, Oriental musical instruments and jazz influence. The "MaYiM" style is unquestionably linked to the land of Israel and dedicated to expressing the Jewish soul. But just as jazz was originally an statement of Afro-American ethnicity and evolved into a language used by musicians of many different cultures, so "MaYiM" can become a source of inspiration for all the families of the earth.

English translations by Betstalel Edwards and Rahel Jaskow


Reviews


to write a review

Amanda Borshel

Techelet may just become Israel's newest religious export - after Carlebach tune
Jerusalem Post

ENSEMBLE TECHELET And I Will Hope For Him (Independent) Some kind of watery blue is the overarching motif of Ensemble Techelet's spiritually themed album, And I Will Hope For Him, in which this Safed-based quartet of newly religious Jews has taken the best of their old lives and transformed it into an original musical stream called MaYiM (Modern Jewish Music). All four men started off in their former lives as high-caliber secular musicians. Guitarist Yoel Tayeb played ethnic jazz with French double bass player Renaud Garcia-Fons. Now he provides the musical basis of the band's free flowing soul search with original melodies and guitar improv. David Louis (trumpet and flutes) studied in California with Ali Akhbar Khan; Israel Edelson (keyboards) was an assistant to Leonard Bernstein and conducted symphonies around the world. And violinist Reuven Ben-Hanan used to play be-bop in Moscow jazz clubs. Techelet takes its varied musical roots and infuses its members' new spirituality into this eight-track album. Like being in a warm, sleepy embrace, the MaYiM style allows for what one might call spiritual improvisation, if you're into that sort of thing. But there should be a warning label on the album cover - this is definitely not music to drive to. Perfectly suited to a post-Shabbat touchy-feely type gathering or Safed in general, the quality of the individual members' musicianship makes its MaYiM sound accessible to even open-minded, but spiritually skeptical fans of good music. With its distinctive Jewish flavor accented by improvisational jazz techniques, Techelet may just become Israel's newest religious export - after Carlebach tunes, of course

Amanda Borshel Mai 2002.


Ultimate music excellence with a message of love and hope
In Hasidic revelation, the "niggun" is the language of the angels, the quill of the soul.

Music means so much to so many people in so many different ways. It may accompany one in his/her melancholy or bring cheer to a broken heart; it may carry one to a different, better place or simply be entertaining.

The music on this CD is all of the above and just so much more. The outstanding quality of the musicians' genius is simply a given fact apparent to the listener after a few moments of listening. The extraordinary mix of styles is, as it were, a gathering of east, west, north and south to create a unifying composition of love and celebration.

Yet while listening, something else becomes evident. This music accomplishes its purpose in a most exceptional way. The listener is granted the niggun in such a manner that he/she can then rise to a higher spiritual attachment to his Maker. The music takes the listener to another place, another dimension. He/she is transported to the heavily wooded forests where the Baal Shem Tov and Rebbe Nachman meditated and communicated with G-d. Love and awe brings one to near his Father; this music, in its exquisite soothing harmony, offers itself compassionately, carrying its listeners to a space colored with purity, and hope and faith.

This is surely a collection of uniquely crafted music at its best, which will not only be a welcome addition to one's music library, but also will change the listener's essence. Enjoy!

Judith Shira Pinnolis

This is a credit to the jewish spirit,...that despite all the furor and noise of
JEWISH MUSIC WEBCENTER: www.jmwc.org/
CD Releases
A New Album to help you Stay Calm
Ensemble Techelet
"And I will hope for Him" Contact: Yoel Tayeb. Techelet4yoel@yahoo.fr
In a world of Israel today, ravaged by daily terrors and facing unending wars, one Israeli ensemble makes a statement of peace and calm. The overwhelming nature of goodness and hope that permeates the music of Yoel Tayeb and the Ensemble Techelet is in itself a minor miracle that such music can come out of Israel today. This is a credit to the Jewish spirit,.... that despite all the furor and noise of hate, and despite being surrounded by angry men,.... the Ensemble Techelet offers respite and the sounds of quiet souls. Ensemble Techelet, started with a group of ba'alei teshuva newly observant Jews, all of whom had played music extensively in secular venues prior to their involvement with orthodox religion. They combine improvisation, rhythmic experimentation, Israeli themes, New Age and contemporary, and jazz in a blend that produces an interesting chamber music effect infused with Jewish mysticism. The name "techelet" comes from the name of dye used for part of the fringes on the tzitzit. Most of the music is composed by Yoel Tayeb, David Louis and Israel Edelson. Three of the songs on the album "And I will hope for Him" are arrangements of hasidic nigunim. One of the striking elements of their music is experimentation with rhythms. Ensemble Techelet has coined a word for their kind of music "MaYiM, which is an acronym for "Modern Jewish Music" (in Hebrew, "Musica Yehudit Modernit")and this is an acronym you will see more in use, I'm sure.

Judith Shira Pinnolis

Load date 05.14.02