Archives for posts with tag: students

20140207-172701.jpg

A workshop on juggling identities, included in the #unfinal exam for the course “Music in Israel” taught by Francesco Spagnolo (UC Berkeley Fall 2014).

The metaphor of “juggling multiple cultural identities” used in class resonated so much with everyone that I felt I should include this workshop as part of the final exam. The idea is to learn to take metaphors very, very seriously.

More on the course at musicinisrael.wordepress.com.

More on Sara Felder at sarafelder.com.

Advertisements

The influence of Music on a developing Jewish identity
Max Kazer

Introduction

  1. Juggling
  2. My background
  3. Big question: What are the types of themes that emerge in Israeli music that help to forge a unique Jewish identity?

Synagogue

Themes

  1. Oral tradition
  2. Liturgical music
  3. Hine Ma Tov

Meanings

  1. Diversity of Jewish rituals
  2. Connection with religious text
  3. Memoirs of Glikl Hameln

Jewish Camp

Themes

  1. Zionism & Aliyah
  2. Kibbutz-style communal singing
  3. Splendor Bridge

Meanings

  1. Connection with Israel
  2. Sense of belonging in a collective

Summer in Israel

Themes

  1. Unity within diversity
  2. Hatikvah

Meanings

  1. Diasporic origins of Jewish people
  2. Endurance & Optimism
  3. Ruth Behar, An Island Called Home

Russian Jewry: The Effect of Immigration on Israeli Music
Aaron Miller

1. Background

  • Believed Jews could have arrived in modern day Azerbaijan, Armenia
  • Driven out of Western Europe and persecuted in Germany, accepted and Dagestan, Russia around 8th century BCE from Babylon/Iran
  • Driven out of Western Europe and persecuted in Germany, accepted invitation to settle in Poland
  • Lived in shtetls (small Jewish communities) under halakhah rule
  • Muscovite Russia expanded into Eastern Europe, took over Polish Lithuanian lands in 1790s

2. Pale of Settlement

  • Catherine II: fearful of dissolution of Russian nationality, autocracy, and orthodoxy; separates Catholic, Jewish populations
  • Jews begin adopting language, customs
  • BUT life in the shtlets was not good, blamed for rebellions like Decembrist Uprising, etc., double taxation

3. Musical Influences in the Pale

  • Gusli: oldest Russian plucked string instrument
  • Klezmer: Ashkenazi musical tradition meant to complement liturgical and paraliturgical singing with expressive melodies reminiscent of the human voice
  • SHOW VIDEO CLIP #1
  • SHOW VIDEO CLIP #2

4. The First Aliyah

  • Majority of Jews in the world at the end of the 19th century lived in Russian Empire
  • May Laws passed and Jews were xompletely expelled from Kiev and Moscow
  • Hibbat Zion: pre-Zionist movement advocating revival of Jewish life and physical development of the land of Israel
  • Bilu: movement whose goal was the agricultural settlement (eventually joining Hibbat in founding Rishon LeZion)
  • Early conditions were harsh: marshy land, Turk tax, Arab opposition

5. Music in a Foreign Land

  • First major influence on music in Israel outside of locale
  • Although this performance by singer and actress Tova Piron is from 1947 it is exemplary of the trend of Hebrew lyrics on top of foreign (specifically Russian lyrics)
  • SHOW VIDEO CLIP #3

6. Second and Third Aliyahs

  • Arrived in the wake of more pogroms before the war, halted during the war, and then arrived again after the British mandate and Balfour Declaration promising a national home for Jewish people
  • Collective, agricultural communities that combined a mix of Zionistic and socialist beliefs

7. Purposeful Music

  • Haggadah texts (which are used to to set forth the order of the Passover Seder) set to Russian folk styles by Russian born composers like Postolsky’s “We were Pharaoh’s bondsmen in Egypt”
  • PLAY ITUNES SONG #1

8. Society of Jewish Folk Music

  • Much of its importance lies in the fact that pretty much every organization for the promotion of Jewish music followed its methods: it sought to collect folk songs and harmonize them to aid Jewish composers and promote the R&D of religious and secular Jewish folk music
  • Most of them being students at the conservatory there
  • SHOW VIDEO CLIP #4
  • Joel Engel played a key role in its success as he had already formed an important circle of Jewish musicians
  • Founded similar societies elsewhere (Juwal-Verlag in Berlin)

9. Post-Soviet Aliyah

  • During the soviet regime, mass emigration was politically undesirable so the only acceptable reason was for family reunification (generally for elders)
  • One’s family had to quit their jobs just to apply
  • More than a million to Israel b/c US stopped granting unconditional refugee status to Soviet Jews in 1989
  • No attempt to assimilate the Eastern Ashkenazi folk music of the Russian Jews who survived the Cold War

10. Unassimilated High Culture

  • Danced at Russian discotheques, went out with Russians (could’ve been due to large size w/ neighborhoods of tens of thousands)
  • Yet, interestingly enough, according to a study done by Marina Niznik of Tel Aviv University…

11. Russian-Influenced Symphonic Orchestras

  • However many have not adopted a new Jewish (Hebrewist) or Middle Eastern style like the Germans Jewish immigrants did to represent their new national identity
  • Earlier this year, in June, the Israel Philharomnic Orchestra performed a concert comprised of an all-Russian program

Music In Israeli Film: Waltz With Bashir (2008)  

Presentation by Claudia Camacho

Directed by Ari Folman

  • Born in Haifa, Israel 1962
  • Studied at Tel Aviv University in the Department of Film and Television
  • His parents were from the Lodz ghetto in Poland and Auschwitz Holocaust survivors
  • Served in the 1982 Israel-Lebanon War, basis of the movie

Music By Max Richter

  • German-British composer born in 1966
  • “Blends classical, electronic, and rock influences”
  • All these genres found in Waltz With Bashir
  • Ari Folman was listening to Max Richter on repeat when writing the script for Waltz

Waltz With Bashir

  • Summary: Waltz with Bashir is an animated documentary film about the director’s experience in the 1982 Israel-Lebanon War. Ari attempts to regain his war memories after a friend tells him about a recurring dream he’s been having.

History behind Waltz With Bashir

  • In 1982 Israel invaded South Lebanon after Israel’s Northern border had been bombed for years from the Lebanese territory
  • Initial plan: To occupy a 40km zone between Lebanon and Israel to cleanse the missile range used by Palestinians
  • Secret Plan: Arik Sharon (Israeli Minister of Defense) wanted to occupy Lebanon as far as Beirut and appoint his Christian Phalangist ally Bashir Gemayel, President of Lebanon to create eliminate threat from the North
  • A week after being elected, Bashir was assassinated. The assassination thought to have caused the massacre by the Phalangists at Shabra and Shatila of Palestinian civilians.
  • It took 3 days for the IDF soldiers to figure out the massacres were happening and do something. By then it was too late, an estimated 3,000 people were massacred.

“I Bombed Beirut” by Zeev Tene

  • “If we go on behaving with our neighbors like we behave with them, there will be in them some hatred built that will be impossible to control.”
  • “I hate Germans.”
  • His song is politically charged and begs the question how could our government of all governments have been involved in a massacre like this.
  • The song puts the Israeli forces in the place of the Nazi’s.

JSB/RPG

  • Concerto No. 5 in F Minor for Harpsichord and Strings by Johann Sebastian Bach
  • “The film is about the nature of reality and memory…about recovering facts and trying to work out what is imagined and what’s real” –Max Richter on Waltz with Bashir
  • Playing during absurd events of war in which it is not entirely sure whether they are imagined or real.

The Haunted Ocean

  • Composed by Max Richter, provides the theme for the movie
  • “Is meant to evoke a sort of unresolved, weightless, lost melancholia” along with feelings of guilt and shame for being involved (by proxy) in this act of genocide
  • Plays whenever Folman is trying to remember the day of the massacre
  • The scenes where the Haunted Ocean plays are really important because there is no dialogue. The music’s job is to express what words cannot.

I chose the movie because it touched on the theme of memory and past and what is usable and what is not. For Ari Folman and many soldiers at Beirut, the memory of the massacre was not a usable memory. The old collective memory of the Holocaust and the new personal memory of the massacre could not exist in the same mind.

Yasmin Levy and the Politics of Performing Sephardic Identity

Christina Azahar

Inventing Sephardic Traditions from 1492 to the Early Twentieth Century

  • Expulsion of Jews from Spain during the Inquisition leads to formation of Sephardic cultural identity through experiences of transnationalism and diaspora
  • Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) popular songs surrounded by myth and often falsely thought to have origins in Medieval Spain
  • Scholars begin to collect oral musical traditions at the beginning of the twentieth century, categorizing them into romances, life cycle songs, and calendar cycle songs – often adding changes when transcribed

Isaac Levy and the Sephardic Song Revival

  • Collects Sephardic popular songs from 1950s and 1970s and publishes several collections of transcriptions and recordings that become the basis for late productions of Sephardic popular music
  • Work at Jewish national radio influences orientalist tendency to want to Mediterraneanize Israeli national culture

Yasmin Levy: Performing Sephardic Traditions for the World

  • Grew up in Jerusalem and was exposed to a wide variety of cultures and musical practices which she incorporates into her interpretations of her father’s repertoire as well as her original compositions
  • Eclectic performance style makes her music easily communicable across cultures and languages, but her blurring of cultural and linguistic distinction removes her output from the nationalist project of her father’s work by framing Sephardic popular music as a tradition intended for all people

Example:

Una pastora – Combined Recording of Isaac and Yasmin Levy

Jerusalem of Gold
Presentation and Performance Outline
Adam Kuphaldt and William Li

History
Naomi Shemer was commissioned by Teddy Kollek, then mayor of Jerusalem, to write a songfor the 1967 Israel Song Contest in the noncompetitive portion. This event was sponsored by the national radio station, Kol Israel–the voice of Israel.
Gil Adema, producer of the event, searched through archives and found that there were less than a few dozen songs about Jerusalem, and so requested that she write about Jerusalem.
Naomi Shemer was hesitant at first, and after all, no one at that time would ever say Jerusalem was of gold; the city was divided by a buffer zone between Israelis and Jordanians filled with land mines and barbed fences, with soldiers guarding the border. She eventually agreed, realizing Jerusalem held a special place in her heart.
Shemer’s song was later found to have been plagiarized off a traditional Navarrese song called Pello Joxepe from the Basque country (in the western Pyrenees between France and Spain along the coast). The song was originally written by Juan Francisco Petriarena Xenpelar back in the nineteenth century, and the version Shemer copied was a cover by Paco Ibanez. Mr. Ibanez later said no harm was done.

Lyrics – Symbolism and Meaning
Though the song traditionally has a very Jewish-centric take, a deeper analysis reveals much more. In fact, the song links together Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
The song gained popularity because it pervaded every facet of Jewish life. Militarily the song was the rallying cry for the Israeli Defense Force when they prepared for war. In regards to spirituality, the song has many religious references and metaphors.

Jerusalem of Gold, today
We were able to find some interesting ways the song is still performed, demonstrating its popularity even nearly fifty years since it debuted:
The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps based in La Crosse, Wisconsin has Yerushalayim Shel Zahav as their corps song, and they play it before every competition.
Jewish musician Sam Glaser realizes that “many of the standards, the absolute birthright of Jewish kids, are being forgotten. Those songs–they include… “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav”– were the great common denominator songs of [his] childhood.”
During President Shimon Peres’ birthday celebration, with a lot of important people from the international community, Mizrahi singer Eyal Golan was asked to perform Yerushalayim Shel Zahav.

About the performance
Adam and William are avid vocalists, drawing experience from 2-A.M.-in-the-morning-shower singing. That, of course, has not stopped them from taking stage at the Magnes. The arrangement is performed in the modified key of C minor. The lyrics are that of Ofra Haza’s original performance.

Israeli Rap Presentation Handout
Ben Reich & Alexis Kang

We have recently learned in class about relational history as described by David A. McDonald, in which “popular culture, specifically African-American Hip-Hop, enables new social formations to coalesce and to dialogue within new associative frames of meaning, articulating an emerging transnational interconnectedness” (McDonald, 30).  Also, according to Franz Markowitz in Ethnographic Encounters in Israel: Poetics and Ethics of Fieldwork, “all Israeli rappers consistently claim that hip-hop is not just about music but also about saying loudly and clearly what you really think, feel and believe. Since rappers come from different social backgrounds, hip-hop in Israel soon became a space where different truths were being conveyed and contested, lyrically and stylistically” (Markowitz ,81).

Through this lens, we will discuss Israeli rap and its contributions to the idea of ‘transnational interconnectedness’ more so than other genres.  We will begin by briefly outlining the trajectory of hip-hop/rap from its beginnings in the U.S in the 1970’s, to its association with sociopolitical ideas and movements such as Black Nationalism.  From there, we will move to politics in Israeli rap by listening to two Israeli rap songs.  This first is called “Meen Irhabi” (Who’s the Terrorist), written in 2001 by Palestinian-Israeli rap group DAM.  The second song, called Tikva (Hope) was written by Jewish Israeli rapper Subliminal in 2003.  From these songs’ English subtitles, we will explore some of their many political messages.  Finally, we will discuss the phenomenon of political statements as a staple of rap as a genre and Israeli rap in particular, as well as rap’s unique effectiveness in empowering and giving a voice to whole communities.

Jazz in Israel – Outline
Jimmy Yin

The main purpose of this presentation is to provide a broad overview of Israel’s burgeoning jazz scene, as well as the institutions that have contributed to their success.

My hope is that at my presentation gets people excited about Israeli jazz (or jazz in general)! The global nature of the genre makes it particularly relevant to the themes we discuss in this class, and Israeli artists make use of many of the musical motifs which we have encountered thus far.

The outline below covers the people and main topics that I’ll be covering in my presentation. Attached at the end are the recordings and resources that I referenced and used in the course of research for my paper.

I. Introduction

II. Beginnings

– Zvi Keren

– Arnie Lawrence

III. Today’s Scene

– Avishai Cohen, bassist

  • Recording: Madrid

– Gilad Atzmon

– Eli Degibri

  • Recording: Israeli Song

– Gadi Lehavi

  • Recording: Gadi Lehavi Quartet with Eli Degibri

IV. Festivals and Institutions

– Red Sea Jazz Festival

– Educational institutions

  • Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music

– Recording companies

– The role of the West

Links to recordings:

Avishai Cohen Band – Madrid (requires Spotify)

Eli Degibri – Israeli Song

Gadi Lehavi Quartet with Eli Degibri

References/further reading:

Davis, Francis. “Music: Chiri Biri Bim, Chiri Biri Bop – the Israel-New York Pipeline

Yields a Fresh Crop of Serious Jazz Talent.” The Village Voice May 2007: 119. ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013 .

Goldsby, John. “GLOBAL PLAYER: AVISHAI COHEN.” Bass Player 07 2010: 26, 30, 32, 34. ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013 .

Greenberg, H. (1996, Sep 13). Hitting high sea: At the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat, poolside jams start after midnight and the rhythms roll until dawn. Baltimore Jewish Times, 231, 60.

Keren-Sagee, Alona. “Joseph Schillinger – A Disciple’s Reminiscences of the Man and  His Theories: An Interview with Prof. Zvi Keren.” Tempo – A Quarterly Review of Modern Music 64 (2010): 17-26. ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

Keren-Sagee, Alona. “Zvi Keren: His Contribution to Israel’s Music Scene.” Min-ad: Israel Studies in Musicology Online 2 (2002)ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

Lehavi, Avner. “Gadi Lehavi: Jazz Pianist” Lehavi, Avner. 2013. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. <http://gadilehavi.com/Video_2013.html&gt;.

Ratliff, Ben. “Watching Musicians Evolve Onstage.” New York Times. May 20 2013. ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

A group of students of Music in Israel devoted their class project to mapping the relationship between popular music and military conflicts in Israel since 1948.

Here’s a summary of their team efforts:

As I announced in class last week, the conflict with another event that had been previously scheduled at The Magnes for tomorrow, Tuesday April 17, 2012, is providing us with the welcome opportunity to be the guests of our neighbors across the street, The Marsh Arts Center.

Class will meet there (2120 Allston Way), at the usual time. Please be punctual, so that we can all enjoy some of the student performances planned for this semester:

  • Hannah Glass will present her research on creating a new fusion genre based on the various musical cultures explored in class
  • Steven Yang (violin) and Michelle Lin (cello) will present their work on klezmer genres
  • Ran Zhang will present her work on cross-cultural performance practice, and play two Israeli songs on the gu zheng (the link only works with a UC Berkeley secure connection)

This all looks (and sounds) quite promising, and we are indeed very fortunate to be able to use a fully equipped art performance space this week.

See you tomorrow!
Francesco


P.S. I will be posting specific listening assignments for this week’s lecture (Thursday) on bspace and the blog as usual. As you recall, there is no longer a need to submit written responses at this point. I graded all assignments last week. Instead, we will be discussing plans for the upcoming Final (refer to the syllabus for the date).

%d bloggers like this: