Wednesday, December 24, 2008
When we decided to start recording old pioneer songs I knew that right away we would have invite one of my favorite artists, Noah Solomon. This man simply exudes music, and is one of the most important figures in the Jewish music renaissance of the past twenty years. He was raised on Moshav Modi’in, the legendary settlement of Shlomo Carlebach, home of the Maccabees of Hanuka fame. Noah comes from a musical family; his father Ben Tzion was part of the pioneering folk rock Diaspora Yeshiva Band, and is an authority of the spiritual music of the Breslav chassidim. His brothers all play and sing as well. Noah is a triple threat, in addition to his signature vocal style he is a wonderful guitarist and mandolinist. He is the lead singer of the iconic ethno jam band Soul Farm, and a member of NYC's premier bluegrass band, Citigrass.
El Yivne Hagalil (God will rebuild the Galilee), a famous old pioneer song, was one of the first recordings we made in Studio A, and features Noah together with Andrew Frawley on drums, Gilad on percussion, and our own Dave Richard's on upright bass. Check out Noah’s otherworldly vocalise in the middle!
“El Yivneh HaGalil” is the quintessential Palestinian folk melody, so popular that at least three variations on its tune have been documented. The best known of these utilizes the distinctive interval of the augmented second that is well known in both the Eastern European repertoire (think “Hava Nagilah”) and Middle Eastern music, making its origins a real mystery whose resolution hardly matters. While the egalitarianism of the kibbutzim (and the challenge to traditional family life represented by the “children’s houses” they created) did not initially draw religiously observant settlers, there were certainly pioneers among the second aliyah settlers who were driven by the theological imperative to rebuild the homeland of their forefathers. The notion that “God will build the Galilee” gave spiritual as well as physical strength to the young people who stereotypically worked the fields all day and danced a horah around the campfire all night. As they sang “Blessed is He Who builds the Galilee” they helped make this tune a “crossover hit” popular among secular farmers and yeshiva students alike. “ (MBE)
Here is Noah talking about how your support, through sharing this song, will help further cutting edge efforts of the Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center.
Noah is also prominently featured on the P-FAC anthem, Am Yisrael Chai.