july 28, 2014

rosh chodesh av.

another improv … with the ubiquitous title of ‘improv’.
this time it’s on bass guitar (~8 min).

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war war war. another week another rally (sigh).

emotions are high among people whom i know and i’m discovering who my friends really are- and who would just as soon my folks just sort of disappear off the face of the earth (nothing personal, of course….).

i find great comfort in music. and it’s a time of the year when i’m theoretically not supposed to be enjoying music for ‘pleasure’….but no. this is what gives me speech when once upon a time i barely had any.

i guess if i post anything from ‘the lab’ for the next nine days or so…. it will be serious and somber (enough).

there’s upcoming shows for both mi yodea and gHOST project- but i’d rather not discuss at this moment- as the mood is more serious right now. hopefully there will be an end to war soon- and we can get our groove back … because even though i am not at war with missiles i seem to be at war with words. hopefully all these little wars end soon as well.

praying for peace the world over……

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july 24, 2014

(maybe this continues the e-cd….  ‘in times of war’)
‘improv’ done on drums and e-drums. (drums, e-drums, efx ~4 min)

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i guess i fall into this ‘crazy solo drummers club’ of weird noise drummers. some of the more famous drummers in this club have names like hayward, yoshida, even walter. i’m not in their league- shit i’d barely make cabin boy. but every so often i get into this sort of thing- what i like about this piece is the crying sounds near the end (ring mod) – it was pretty much what i was feeling.

‘dance of the charismatic narcissists’ (keys. an improvised tune ~ 2 min)

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there’s always some of these insects around but war brings them out like a honey drenched venus fly strip. who can believe that they are all right…. when they are all wrong? what a circus!

‘enough’ (keys. another improvised tune. ~2 1/2 min)

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enough of this, enough of that. there’s still too much pain in the world… and i still have my tension headache.

lastly ‘atzeret/ nigun’ (keys ~12 min)

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free-er versions of some new tunes i’m working on. just letting the keyboard wash the pain away- for a short while.

next week contains rosh chodesh av- beginning of the 9 days (jewish morning period from 1 – 9 av). please purge all sinat chinam (free hatred) from your hearts – whether it’s aimed at your own people- who are your brothers- or whether it’s aimed at someone else’s. it would make the world a better place.

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july 21, 2014

piece-o-day ‘going numb’ (keys, 2 1/2 min)

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this one could have fit on the new e-cd ( ‘in times of war’ – see yesterday’s post).

i think the e-cd needs some explanation.

it’s not so much about the war itself- as how the war is making people treat each other. its amazing that i’ve lost friends- i mean people i would sing and dance with- over a political opinion and what i and they choose to believe.

some of these people have said stuff like ‘i don’t believe your story’… but see it’s their stories/ core beliefs that drive people. we are our stories and we are not the same person without them. the story of the jewish people is thousands of years old and i personally don’t much care WHAT you choose to believe- it’s MY story and i’m sticking to it.

you have a story too. somewhere in your history there is some piece of it where you opposed someone, or they opposed you, and you prevailed. in their story you are evil. in your story you are good.

i think the thing that keeps the war going is the extremists on both sides. extremists are never willing to budge to see the point on the other side. and in both cases extremists are using religion as an excuse to wage war.

again- israel has a right to defend itself. check this huff post post by rabbi menachem creditor- HARDLY a militant aggressive bullying type (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-menachem-creditor/im-done-apologizing-for-i_b_5606650.html). of course if you think jews in israel are evil colonists then i can’t help you except to say please go read some (jewish) history- and make sure you go back at least 4000-4500 years. pay special attention when you get to the holocaust and its aftermath- and what actually happened in 1948- one the few times most of the nations of the world ever agreed on anything.

i think also think that a person cannot ignore the suffering of others. ultimately we can blame hamas (the govt in gaza)- and NOT israel- for that suffering. though gaza has been an independent entity since 2005- instead of using their international aid monies to build infrastructure they used it on tunnels and weapons used to attack israel. one can only pray that all sides (particularly hamas) agree to a cease fire and the violence and suffering can end for now. it seems that a lasting peace will be impossible- as long as one side remains committed to the destruction of the other.

these are scary times. things happen that scare ME- all i’m trying to do is survive, do my work (whatever that entails…), and be one more voice for peace.

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july 20, 2014

new solo e-cd. serious stuff.

what’s here is not justification for one side over the other (though i stand with israel and my people and if anyone don’ like it…. ‘bye….)- but rather justification for peace over war.

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july 9, 2014

‘enough of this’

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‘enough of that’

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enough sorrow, enough war, enough hatred.

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jul 6, 2014

some solo keyboard stuff, mostly songs associated with mi yodea played in a manner which the mi yos would never allow (~17 min) -

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1) cuando el rey nimrod (trad)
2) serpents (kaplan)
3) atzeret (kaplan)
4) mashiach hazaken (zarai/ ofek)
5) mi yodea (kaplan)

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june 29, 2014

‘taksim’ (digi piano ~3 1/2 min)

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june 17, 2014

piece-o-day ‘untitled’ (keyboard improv ~3 min).

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please support us thru booking etc- zelwel at hotmail dot com.

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june 11, 2014

short improvised keyboard pieces from today

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‘untitled’ (~3 min)

and from last night.

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‘yamaha and rain’ (~8 min)

i want to apologize for the recorded sound on just about every thing i do. i’m interested in craft and performance- did not realize i’d need to become a recordist as well, an art in itself. i just hope the light of the performances can shine through the murk of the recordings. someday i do hope to be able to make the proper decently produced commercial recordings that i know are in me somewhere- but for now my goal is documentation.

here’s about 20 minutes of the joyous sounds of the shiviti drum circle (shiviti drum circle web site) at the jewish fest sunday -

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the fest was quite an experience. i felt like there was a real effort to reach out to all parts of the jewish community- especially by setting up the mishkan tent… but that was only one example of a spirit of general inclusiveness. everyone was there from lubavitch to svara (and guess which of those was the first to set up a yeshiva at the fest) … and of course our good buddies limmud chicago, mitziut, and beit yichud.

i just wish they were more musically adventurous on those stages (though it was great seeing azamra and also big fun drumming there with the ‘shivitis’ for the fourth time since 2006) and i still keep wanting to do an alterna-fest on the off years. but definitely… hats off to the fest- gotta love ‘em no matter WHAT they do.

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june 3, 2014

piece-o-day ‘atzeret’ (solo version of something new from the mi yodea songbook)

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also the one from june 1- ‘high drama at the no k corrall’

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negotiating some mi yodea gigs now- announcement soon (hopefully). to book gHOST project, mi yodea, atomic theory dance band, trio percussive, or me you can write to zelwel at hotmail dot com.

reminder : shiviti drummers (participatory drum circle) at jewish fest, st paul woods, morton grove 2:15 sunday june 8 in the mishkan tent.

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