My own musical taste began to take shape in high school thanks to friends who introduced me to the likes of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and The Grateful Dead. Lest you think that I didn't have a
yiddishe spirit, I also attended cantorial concerts with my father throughout my teen years. Fast forward several years and music is still very much the soundtrack to my life.
My spouse is a cantor so inevitably chazzanut plays a prominent role in our family and home. Our 5 year old has his own favorite tracks on repeat (and repeat and repeat...) and I often have Pandora in the background while at my desk at the temple. Music has always occupied an important place in my life in different ways and it gives me much joy to introduce a new song or artist to a friend and see their hearts open and souls stirred.
In that spirit, I am delighted to introduce you to 'Harmony in Unison', a Jewish musical collective offering online mini-concerts several times a week . Its co-founder Beth Schafer describes its genesis:
In the wake of a very divisive political season that has left many at odds with one another, my fellow musicians and I asked ourselves the question, "What can we do with our music to serve our community?" The answer to that question came to my colleague, Stacy Beyer, and me and I want to share it with you. We have created a musicians' collective on Facebook called Harmony in Unison, a Virtual Stage. Its purpose is for listeners who are just looking for a respite from the craziness of the world to hear some Jewish musicians offer live performances of hope and healing. Every week, Sunday through Thursday, you can visit the Harmony in Unison page and get a free, live mini-concert from one of over 100 Jewish singer/songwriters/ performers/cantors from all over the country who are slated to be a part.
You are invited to visit their closed Facebook page where you can request to join the group (don't worry; you'll be approved). A gift from musicians to all of us, they welcome listeners to join and find comfort in the work of talented individuals from around the world. Read more about the group. I promise your heart will be moved and your soul will be stirred. And please share this invitation with your friends!
FOR YOUR TABLE CONVERSATIONS:
1. What is your earliest (Jewish) memory involving music?
2. In what ways is music the soundtrack of our lives? If you were creating that soundtrack, for your life what songs would be on it?
3. When I joined Harmony in Unison's Facebook page, I was informed that I was the 10,000 friend (this distinction came with a gift of CDs)! The gratitude and thanks extended to me by the group's co-founders was meaningful and genuine - they simply want to create a place for relevant Jewish music to take centre stage. Have you ever won anything before? How can we capitalize (bottle?) that feeling of joy, surprise, and good will?
4. The group's co-founder writes that Harmony in Union is "for listeners who are just looking for a respite from the craziness of the world". Tell us what you do or where you go to seek respite from our world? What kinds of world do you dream about?