Sounds of Israel

Musicians tell their (heritage) stories through their art form – as members of a chamber concert ensemble, as jazz singers, or as a club DJ. Accordingly “Sounds of Israel” opens up a space in Hamburg for different Israeli artists and offers them and their audience the opportunity outside the concert space to get to know each other. The program includes stars such as the Israeli singer Noa, who presents her new project, “The Israeli Songbook,” with the Hamburg Philharmonic, as well as the internationally recognized jazz artists Avishai Cohen and Yaron Herman. Newcomers like the young pianists of the duo Amal are also on the performance bill. The ensemble Meitar and the pianist Elena Bashkirova stand in for chamber music, while the musicians from the ensemble Tafillalt present their modern spin to traditional Jewish materials. A variety of acts cover the spectrum from singer-songwriter to club sounds to world music: Idan Raichel with his energetic mix of Ethiopian, Arabic, Yemeni, and Caribbean sounds, the band Shesh Besh with its Arab-Western crossover, audio and video artist Ran Slavin and DJs Shlomi Aber and Chaim on the electronic side of things, and world music legend Yair Dalal with his sounds from the desert

All the artists share a broader geographic and artistic perspective, and a commitment (also musically) to understanding and peace in Israel. In this way they represent a new generation of artists who are just as aware of societal conflicts in their surroundings as they are of a vibrant cultural scene between the Orient and Occident, despite the conventional Israeli news reporting. This musical perspective is the foundation for workshops and encounters with Hamburg youth and students. They are an essential component of the project “Sounds of Israel” – whose objective is to excite young people for the musical diversity of Israel and to awake an interest in the situation under which the music was created. The highlight of each meeting for the participants is the joint concert visit by “their” musicians – a special event but not just for the fans themselves. Accompanying the festival is a symposium that is concerned with the particular social, cultural, and political situation of the Israeli music scene.

“Sounds of Israel” is a project of the Laeiszhalle Elbphilharmonie Hamburg in cooperation with Israeli musicians. It takes place from February 1 to March 15, 2012. A festival of the same name takes place from February 11 to 19, 2012 with 14 concerts and events as the core of the project. It is accompanied by the music education program “Zukunftsmusik” – an initiative of the Elbphilharmonie Foundation – for youth and students as well as a public symposium with lectures and open discussions.

Idan Raichel, interview on the israeli music scene and his ensemble

Sounds of Israel - trailer