Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Third International Festival of New Jewish Liturgical Music

Shalshelet Poster "In each of the three instances, the shalshelet denotes a clash of deep emotions, hesitation and anxiety." Rabbi Bernard L. Berzon

I was chatting with Keith from the KlezmerPodcast last night. He wanted to me to know that he had cleaned up the mess that iTunes had made of his podcast feed. If you haven't gotten his most recent podcasts, go resubscribe and you'll get them. And while you're there, subscribe to his KlezKamp KlezKanada podcast.

I'd love to go KlezKamp or KlezKanada some time, and maybe I will. But what I'm really excited about, and may actually attend, is the Third International Festival of New Jewish Liturgical Music June 13 to 16, 2008 in Milwaukee Wisconsin. The sponsoring group, Shaleshet, the Foundation for New Jewish Liturgical Music, describes themselves as
"continu[ing] an ancient chain of tradition that honors the role of music in interpreting sacred texts. Shalshelet seeks to foster the creation of original music and to expose wider audiences to innovations in Jewish religious music. Shalshelet’s mission is to use music to build bridges both within and outside the Jewish community. Shalshelet’s participants are drawn from across all Jewish denominations - Reform, Conservative, modern Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Havurah, affiliated, and unaffiliated."
The Festival of New Jewish Liturgical Music showcases a competition for new settings of Jewish texts and where selected compositions are performed in concert. In the past, compositions have included "cantorial, congregational, and choral pieces in styles as diverse as Chassidic, jazz, classical, and international pop music." In addition to the music, the Festival has workshops that "bring artists and other professionals together with the public for discussion of the creative process and musical approaches to text". If you're a composer (or want to try your hand at composing), the deadline for submitting is November 1, 2007.

A festival choir
I hope that I can get my work and home life to line up so that I can go. Wisconsin isn't all that long a drive from up here on the North Coast and spending a weekend with a bunch of folks who are serious about Jewish liturgy sounds like a blast to me.

By the way, thinking of my post about cantillation the other day, I thought I'd mention where the name 'Shalshelet' comes from. From their website...
The shalshelet cantillation symbol (Hebrew for "chain") is one of the rarest in the system of melodic motifs for chanting the books of the Torah aloud. Found only four times in the Five Books of Moses, each time it guides the chanting of a verb at a pivotal moment in the narrative.
See Rabbi Berzon's sermon on Vayeshev for a longer, richer description.


Keith said...

Hi Jack,
I need to make a small correction in your post. While I hope to attend KlezKamp sometime, I have been attending KlezKanada, near Montreal.
I hope to see you there sometime.

Keith Wolzinger
Klezmer Podcast

Keith said...

Oh, and the KlezKanada Podcast is at the KlezKanada website→Blog→Blogroll→KlezKanada Podcast


Jack said...

Oops. Sorry about that. Correction made. Thanks for letting me know.