Thursday, January 31, 2013

Poetry Set to Music

Wednesday night we had tickets at Bet AviChai ( only because we'd been given discount coupons after a Tuesday night lecture.

That lecture was a fascinating account of the real ship Exodus (as apposed to Leon Uris's novelized composite of several ships and romance, which later became a popular movie). Much more is known now that governments have released documents kept classified for decades.

After the lecture Michael dropped his cellphone from two flights up. The seven-year-old phone made by a company called Tellit worked just fine after I put it back together again.

Wednesday night was poetry. We were a bit apprehensive, but it turned out to be classic poets (Bialik, Altermann, and the like) plus some we'd never heard of, many set to music. The poem about the solar water heater and the antenna was new to us. The singers were so good that I think even listeners who understood no Hebrew would have enjoyed the performance.

We are now on the BetAviChai mailing list, so se won't be dependent on my noticing posters for their events or being handed a flyer at one event for another one. As with other Jerusalem venues, performances don't always seem to appear on the website when I'm looking.

Copyright 2013 Jane Schulzinger Fox

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fish monger

In the shouk, the tiny storefront of the fishmonger I was used to was empty today of everything but sacks of building materials. His sign is gone from overhead. The fish monger next to him is still there, and across from him is a double-wide fresh fish shop. But I liked the man who was always helpful and who seemed to remember me. What with one thing and another I didn't stop by for two weeks. I'm sorry I missed the chance to say goodbye.

"Probably going to put a boutique there," a friend mourned.

She was wrong. He's back. "Everything's new and clean now," he told me. HOpe he had a good vacation.

I do like fresh fish.

Copyright 2013 Jane Schulzinger Fox

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hadas Pal-Yarden at Bet HaConfederatsia

Hadas Pal-Yarden sang beautifully at Bet HaConfederatia ( and )with four other musicians, all wonderful performers of Turkish and Kurdish music. I like venues that are intimite without being nightclubs.

One of the percussionist's instruments was new to me -- shaped like a large urn with a bulbous body, a narrowed waist, and a top that flarred to be capped by a drum head. Covering, partially covering, and uncovering a round opening in the side of the body, the percussionist changed the tone of the drum.

Bet HaConfederatsia hosts ethnic music concerts, poetry readings, and lectures. An Ethiopian play is listed for the end of this month.

I keep reminding myself that the small restaurant off the tiny lobby looks like a good place to eat before a concert, but I have not tried it yet.

On a less wortIhy note, was fascinated by one woman's boots, which, by cunning use of stitching on felt or soft leather, gave the impression she wore fine socks with thin soles or perhaps was a hobbit.

Coyright 2013 Jane Schulzinger Fox

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Nino Biton and his Maghreb Band

At Beit AviKhai last night ( last night we enjoyed Nino Biton and his Maghreb band playing music in the Algerian style. After four lectures on the subject, I have a vague notion of what a makam ( is. Each selection was written to (or is it with? or in?) a different makam, and yet there was a recurrent pattern -- perhaps because of their common Algerian connection. One of the musicians played piano -- an instrument with very fixed notes. How does that fit the structure? A high energy level and enthusiastic audience make these live performances more enjoyable than recordings.

Copyright 2013 Jane Schulzinger Fox

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 21, 2013

Andalusian Orchestra of Ashdod, with Moroccan Guests

Last night the concert of the HaTismoret HaAndalustit of Ashdod in Jerusalem had three soloists, two of whom were Muslims visiting from Morocco.

Do these artists just leave appearances in Israel off their credit lists?

They have enthusiastic fans here. About a third of the audience responded when the singer and the kamanja-player singer addressed us in Arabic.

Copyright 2013 Jane Schulinger Fox

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hot Water

While we were at the Dead Sea the solar panel here heated water. Very hot water tempts me to a longer shower. Instead of getting wet, then turning off the water while I soap and scrub, I stand luxuriate in hot cascades. Nothing has been heating the air in this apartment so while we were gone. This winter it has rained so much there's a possibility the Kinneret will reach the "upper red line" and they'll allow water over the dam, so why worry about conserving water? For the sake of maintaining good habits.

Copyright 2013 Jane Schulzinger Fox


Friday, January 11, 2013

Snow and free transportaiton

Thursday morning we woke to what eventually was 10 inches (25 centimeters) of snow on the ground, bushes, trees, cars, sidewalks, and streets. The updates at the bottom of the TV screen informed us that public transportation in Jerusalem would be without charge until 2PM. Of course buses had been pulled off the streets and the light rail trains had stopped running not, we were assured, because the system was not built to run in snow but because of a problem.

Nevertheless everyone seemed in excellent humor. Schools were, of course closed, and children were out playing in what must have seemed extreme cold. The temperature hovered around freezing. Many businesses closed, but the little local store opened. Restaurants were open for business.

I left a tap dripping two nights running. Pipes are outside buildings and not insulated. So far we have not lost electricity or water, so we, too, are in excellent humor.

Copyright 2013 Jane Schulzinger Fox

Labels: , ,

Guns to Butter

According to a new poll, the majority of Israelis think less should be spent on defense and more on social programs this does not mean that in this month's elections they will vote for parties that say they'll spend less on defense and more on social programs.

Copyright 2013 Jane Schulzinger Fox

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Arab Women SIngers

I missed the Islamic Art Museum's ( ) lecture series on Arab women, but I made it to the concert which served as the final lecture. Two women who were a little late found chairs they could put in the wide aisle ahead of me and proceeded to chatter while the four-musician ensemble from the Nazareth Orchestra played. When the singer Lubna Salame ( to )entered, they quieted, and it became clear that, like much of the audience, they knew the songs. Ms Salame encouraged them to sing the choruses. Listen to with Ms. Lubna entering at about 2:48.

Copyright 2013 Jane Schulzinger Fox

Labels: , ,

Friday, January 04, 2013

HaBustan Ha Spharadi

Somehow I'd never seen the musical HaBustan HaSepharadi by Yitskhak Navon (who later became president of the State of Israel). Nor did I know it is a series of sketches tying together well-known Ladino romanceros -- songs whose words are in 500-year old Spanish kept alive by Jews scattered by their exile from Spain. All I knew was that the play was about his childhood in Jerusalem. That was enough for me to pick up that early dialogue was in Ladino -- which is to say that I picked out a few of the few Spanish words I know. People who know Spanish and have studied Spanish literature from the 15th century, say they understand most of what's said in Ladino. The audience was a nice mix of ages, from teenage and maybe younger to folks who, if they did not themselves remember the 1920s in Nakhalaot were the children or maybe even younger siblings of the characters in the play. Many sang along with the songs, which is always fun at a play like this. Copyright 2013 Jane Schulzinger Fox

Labels: , ,