Hello world! I am embarking on a new musical adventure: a project to record an album of original Jewish world music. In order to make the project possible, and to make it as beautiful as we know it can be, we need your support.
Over the past few years, I've been reconnecting to my roots. I've become fascinated with Jewish traditions and the gifts they offer the world - philosophically, spiritually, culturally, and musically. For a long time, I struggled to experience a sense of belonging to my heritage. Being in synagogue would often feel like a pop-quiz: I would ask myself, did I miss class or something? Why do I have no idea how to do what everyone else around me is busy doing? Luckily my family gave me an incredible foundation, and with some persistence and a lot of support, I've gotten to the point where I can relax a bit around Jewish prayer and Jewish music. I've gotten to know some of the meaning behind prayers we say, stories we tell, and songs we sing. The desire to connect had always been there for me, but having tools to do so has really opened up new worlds.
Music has been like one of the owls (owl-mail) delivering me these bits of magic, and so, naturally, I've created many of my own Jewish songs along the way (making use of traditional Hebrew texts). Without really setting out to do so, I've ended up with a pretty full platter of original Jewish songs.
About a year ago, I met Dave Brophy at a Passover Seder in Boston (his neighbor and friend were hosting). He told me about his career - drumming on Howie Day's record "Collide" and producing Ruby Rose Fox, to name a couple highlights - and I asked him if he would be willing to listen to some of my music. He said yes, so I sent along a bunch of songs in 3 buckets - singer-songwriter songs, potential pop songs, and miscellaneous Jewish and other song ideas. A few weeks later, he invited me to his apartment, and I biked over to his place excitedly. As soon I sat down in his home studio, he turned to me and, before anything else, said, "I think we should make a Jewish world music album. I'm not Jewish, I don't understand Hebrew, but these songs just speak to me."
There are many reasons not to do this: 1) there's a ton of beautiful Jewish music already, 2) I'm still in the process of finding my path musically and Jewishly, 3) the audience for my style of Jewish music is small, and 4) there are just so many more urgent things to be doing in this world with time, money, and even music. Still, I have not been able to shake the desire to share these songs with people. Part of it might be because I believe in the value of adding our voices to even the most ancient conversations or cultural inheritances. And part of it might be because I can never get enough Jewish inspiration and wisdom in my life, and I want to share that feeling with others (along with the feeling of wanting to connect with any set of traditions). Above all, these Jewish songs help me feel fully myself. Hopefully they'll help others connect with that feeling within themselves too!
So here we are: within the next few months, I'll record 7 songs and put together an EP with Dave and other local musicians who are excited to collaborate with us. In order to make this EP and share our creative work, we'll need to raise $5,000 through this campaign. We've already received a small grant from the Passim School of Music. If we reach our fundraising goal, we'll be able to rock and roll and complete the beautiful recordings we know we're capable of creating.
Thank you for learning about this project, and I cannot wait to share the music with you very soon!!