I was interviewed for Voice of America —a radio station with an estimated 150 million end users around the world every week in 43 languages! — along with dear friends Basya Schechter and Noah Hoffeld, by Romemu member and journalist Adam Phillips on how Younger Jews Reshape High Holiday Music.
“Every note is a breath,” [Shir Yaakov Feit] said, “and there is an incredible sensitivity to each moment that develops the more we sing in community. Which is happening on conscious and completely deep unfathomable levels… And the body is totally alive in the moment of song when singing that way.”
Feit has also composed in the Jewish musical genre called niggunim, wordless repetitive melodies sung by groups that can induce a sense of shared spiritual ecstasy.
“We are now kind of gathering the sparks and rekindling the fire of vibrant, celebratory, complete Jewish spirituality. But it’s with some scar tissue….”
Listen to the entire interview above and read the complete transcript.
Time Magazine names our band The Epichorus one of “10 Stars of the New Jewish Music”:
Up-and-comers recently profiled in Tablet, [The] Epichorus is a bit different from the groups that have grown out of the U.S. Reform movement. Though the group’s lyrics draw on the same religious texts, their musical influences range from the seminary (the oudist is a rabbi) to academia (the lead singer’s a Sudanese ethnomusicologist).
Read more via Rosh Hashanah: Jewish Music from Gospel to Rock | TIME.com.
“You will bring them in
and plant them on your own mountain,
the place where You live,
the holy place that you built with your own hands….”
“Spread over us your canopy of peace.
Repair us with good council
And save us.”
Composition by Zach Fredman and Shir Yaakov Feit; text from the evening liturgy.
וּפְרוֹשׂ עָלֵינוּ סֻכַּת שְׁלוֹמֶךָ
וְתַקְּנֵנוּ בְּעֵצָה טוֹבָה מִלְּפָנֶיךָ
Ufros aleinu sukkat sh’lomecha
Ve’takneinu be’eitza tova milfanecha
“Light is sewn for the righteous…
For with you is the source of life,
In your light we see light.”
אוֹר זָרֻעַ לַצַּדִּיק
וּלְיִשְׁרֵי לֵב שִׂמְחָה
אי יאי יאי
כִּי עִמְּךָ מְקוֹר חַיִּים
בְּאוֹרְךָ נִרְאֶה אוֹר
Or zarua la’tza-a-dik
Ul’yishrei lev simcha
Ya dai dai…
Ki eem’cha m’kor chaim (x3)
B’or’cha nir’eh or
I recorded twelve versions before releasing the one above, but the video below remains my favorite rendition of this song: