Audio Samples & Notes: Moshe Denburg
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1. Ani Ma-amin (I Believe) III Excerpt (2002) (23′)
Bansuri, Tabla, Darabuka, Udu, Riqq, Pipa, Ruan, Daruan, Oud, Sitar, Zheng, Yangqin, Danbau, Erhu
At the core of Judaism are certain articles of faith that have resonance for me whether within or without a religious context. One of these articles is the declaration of belief in a messiah, a redemption of the world, a time when peace shall reign in all of creation. This belief – in a peaceful outcome to the human project – has long been a source of hope for people the world over, and has given purpose to an otherwise chaotic existence.
The work calls for a choir, singing in the original Hebrew, accompanied by an inter-cultural orchestra of instruments from many parts of the world. The text, two terse lines composed a millenium ago, by the great Rabbinical scholar and philosopher Moses Maimonides, is given several different treatments in a multiple movement work. Each movement highlights a different attitude of prayer, such as: joy, grace, serenity, resolution, and supplication. The English translation goes:
And though he may tarry, even so I will look for his coming every day.
(transliterated Hebrew) Ani ma-amin be-emuna sh’leima b’viyat hamashiakh.
V’af al pi she-yitma-mei-a, im kol ze akhake lo b’chol yom she-yavo.The textual universalism in the work serves to highlight the mission of the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra as a musical ensemble that encourages goodwill and understanding between peoples of diverse backgrounds.
3. Rapprochements (Reconciliations) V Excerpt (2000) (40′)
Erhu, Yangqin, Zheng, Sitar, Tabla, Darabuka, Hurdy Gurdy, Ney, Bansuri, Shakuhachi, Didjeridu, Tin Whistle, Oud, Pipa
4. Rapprochements (Reconciliations) VI Excerpt (2000) (40′)
I. The Clash of Worlds (Conflict)
II. Far from the Struggle of Wills (Reflection)
III. Hustle Bustle (Action)
IV. I Dream of a Better World (Hope)
V. The Playful Spirit Returns (Resolution)
5. Excerpt from The King is Dancing (1988) (15′)
Tabla, “Indian” (tonic-dominant tuned) Guitars, World Percussion, Tambura
6. Excerpt from Can You Hear My Prayer (1989, 1988, 2002) (16-20′)
Sitar, “Indian” (tonic-dominant tuned) Guitar, Tabla, Tambura
2 Bansuris, Sitar, “Indian” Guitar, Tambura, Tabla, Mridangam
Erhu, Zheng, 2 Uds
The words of the biblical book, the Song of Songs, have for thousands of years served as a wellspring of musical composition. The texts here were chosen for their very forthright exposition of love as a reflection and inspiration of the natural world.
The music attempts to paint a picture of longing, of rapture, and of passion expressed, and sometimes even misplaced. The overall material belongs in a Middle Eastern context, especially that of the music of Israel.
2 Zhengs, Ud, Santur, Djembe or Darabuka
The Caravanserai was an inn along the Silk Road, in the area of modern Iran, where Caravans could stop for refreshment. So it is easily a metaphor for a meeting place where stories of the world are shared, and, we fervently imagine, music jamming happens nightly. Aah my friend, remember the night the camels in the courtyard began to dance?
Moshe Denburg (b. 1949) grew up in Montreal, Canada, in a religious Jewish family. His musical career has spanned over three decades and his accomplishments encompass a wide range of musical activities, including Composition, Performance, Jewish Music Education, and Piano Tuning. He has travelled worldwide, living and studying music in New York, Israel, Montreal, Toronto, India, and Japan. From 1986-90 he studied composition with John Celona at the University of Victoria. Since 2000 he has guided the formation of the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, and today serves as its Program Director.