40 Year Journey
It’s been almost four years since my last release, and this new album is something special: a collection of my own compositions from a period spanning 40 years. From Minnesota to New York to Israel, it’s been an eventful journey, and the music has also evolved and matured.
I’ve gained much experience from the previous 3 albums, and I feel the performance style and recording quality is considerably more developed. But the real point here is the melodies themselves. Many are songs that I sing at my Shabbos table every week, and have passed down to my children.
New Album of Original Compositions
See the preview video here: https://youtu.be/5vdphPzMcAk
I don’t retain every tune that pops into my head. And I don’t compose according to genre, stringing together a bunch of cliches. Each niggun here is unique and memorable. Most function perfectly well independent of the words, which, for me, is the test of a truly inspired niggun. Of course, these classic texts add much to the depth of the experience, but the melodies are capable of standing on their own.
1) Lo Seivoshi – The second part of the popular hymn “Lecha Dodi,” sung on Friday night. Traditionally, at least by chassidim, the first several stanzas are sung to a slower melody, and the later ones to a more lively one.
2) Sholom Aleichem – The first song sung upon returning home Friday night, welcoming the Shabbos angels.
3) Aishes Chayil – The famous text from the Book of Mishlei (Proverbs), praising the Jewish wife, which is also a metaphor for the Torah and the Shechinah (Divine Presence)
4) Azamer Bishvachin – My own melody to the mystical poem sung before the Kiddush on Friday night, written by the Ari z”l.
5) Adon Olam – A simple, elegant, universal melody set to the classic text that opens and closes the morning Shacharis prayers.
6) Mimkomcho – Climax of the Kedushah prayer of Shabbos Shacharis, a dramatic and heart felt supplication for G-d to reveal Himself and bring Moshiach, and His kingdom will reign forever.
7) Yom Zeh Mechubad – A lively tune for the popular Zemirah sung at the Shabbos morning meal. This song, without words, is sung in Skver on various occasions.
8) Boruch Kel Elyon– Another Zemirah we sing at Shalosh Seudos, the third Shabbos meal. A lilting, lyrical waltz.
9) Adir Ayom – A beautiful song from the Melaveh Malkah meal, accompanying out the Shabbos Queen.
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