web analytics
May 26, 2015 / 8 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Unsung Heroes: A Behind The Scenes Look At The Jewish Music Business

Consummate-Consumer

I know this is supposed to be a consumer column, but let’s face it. We have all just spent the last few weeks preparing, cleaning and shopping until our credit cards begged for mercy and our family members have started wondering if Windex is our new signature scent. The last thing anyone wants to be thinking about right now is buying more stuff, making home improvements or otherwise planning ahead. It is Pesach, the celebration of our exodus from bondage, and just as our forefathers emerged from the slavery of Egypt into freedom, this is a great opportunity to relax after weeks of effort and planning. Put your feet up, enjoy the fruits of your labor and possibly even a tall glass of lemonade (adorned, of course, by a frilly paper umbrella) while we relax, unwind and contemplate one of the greatest treasures ever bequeathed to mankind: the gift of music.

Over the years we have been privileged to enjoy some incredibly wonderful songs, which have woven their way into the fabric of our lives. Some are special to us for personal reasons, others become popular hits, but oddly enough, while we may know the songs and possibly even the names of the singers who popularized them, few of us know little if anything about the many people who are responsible for the music we know and love.

It is hard to believe how many hundreds of hours it takes to produce a single song and how many talented people are involved in each and every note. The composer, who literally gives birth to the song. The arranger who further refines the song, deciding its mood, the best instruments to enhance it, also composes an introduction, practically a song within a song. The skilled musicians whose talents provide the orchestration. The vocalist who is the “face” of the song. The producer, who hand picks every person involved in the process in order to make the most out of every second. The engineer who puts the entire package together and produces the finished product. Throw in a lyricist if there are original words involved and choirs, if they are being used, and a single song can involve dozens of participants, each of whom uses their considerable talents to produce the music that fills our iTunes. Yet for most of us, other than the singer, the many people who are an integral part of each song are, for the most part, nameless and faceless.

All that is about to change as a few of the best and the brightest in the Jewish music business share their thoughts on what goes on behind the scene.

Yitzy Waldner

Yitzy Waldner

For composer Yitzy Waldner, there is no way to define the process of creating a song.

“People have asked me to tell them how I compose a song, but I don’t have an answer,” explained Waldner. “You just try, although I suppose it helps to have some sort of musical ability. Many, many times things just fall into place, like Yaakov Shwekey’s Ma Ma Ma, which wrote itself in thirty seconds. There are others that I worked on for a long time, like Shwekey’s Eishes Chayil, which all in all took about seven months to finalize.”

Waldner finds that the lyrics help inspire the creative process.

“The first song I ever wrote for Shwekey was Shema Yisroel,” said Waldner. “He had an idea for the song and had a low part that he liked but needed a high part to go with it. He started describing to me someone who was going around to monasteries, collecting Jewish children after the war. I went down to my basement, turned off all the lights and I envisioned this young boy and the song wrote itself in about twenty five minutes. It was literally divine inspiration.”

You never know when inspiration will strike, reports composer Elimelech Blumstein, who composed his first song in fourth grade and since that time has written thousands of songs.

Elimelech Blumstein

Elimelech Blumstein

“I can remember where I was and what I was doing for every song I wrote,” confided Blumstein. “I could be anywhere, working to walk or on a train. Someone once texted me lyrics and asked me to set them to music just as I was going into the subway. It was a great opportunity, no one to interrupt me with emails or phone calls. I recorded the song on my phone while on the train and sent it out as soon as I came out of the subway. Yes, there were people on the train giving me funny looks, but that was fine. There was one guy playing guitar, another chewing gum and blowing bubbles. Why can’t I sing to myself?”

About the Author: Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who writes for numerous websites, newspapers, magazines and many private clients. She can be contacted at sandyeller1@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Unsung Heroes: A Behind The Scenes Look At The Jewish Music Business”

  1. Leah Urso says:

    Great article! But not all singer songwriters need others to produce them. I produced both of my own CDs for Jewish children.

  2. Thanks for this article. I wrote the finales to two of our productions (www.raiseyourspirits.org) literally having just awoken and felt as if they wrote themselves, as if a greater Hand was writing them (well, typing them) through me…those moments of inspiration are unforgettable.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Former Israel Ambassador to the UN Dore Gold.
Bibi Seals Nationalist Policy with Dore Gold Heading Foreign Ministry
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

To what extent is your child displaying defiance?

Respler-052215

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

Two weeks of intense learning in the classroom about Israel culminated with Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Students attended sessions with their teachers and learned about history, culture, military power, advocacy, slang, cooking, and more.

The nations of the world left the vessel to sit rotting in the water during one of the coldest winters in decades and with its starving and freezing passengers abandoned.

Rabbi Yisroel Edelman, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, declared, “The Young Israel of Deerfield Beach is looking forward to our partnership with the OU. The impact the OU has brought to Jewish communities throughout the country through its outreach and educational resources is enormous and we anticipate the same for our community in Deerfield Beach as well.”

Our goal here is to offer you recipes that you can make on Yom Tov with ingredients you might just have in the house. Enjoy and chag sameach!

Gardening can be a healthy, wholesome activity for the whole family.

Unfortunately, the probability is that he will not see a reason to change as he has been acting this way for a long time and clearly has some issues with respecting women.

All of these small changes work their way into the framework of the elephant and the rider because they are helping the elephant move forward.

More Articles from Sandy Eller
Justin Zemser, a”h

“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”

Food-Talk---Eller-logo

It’s hard not to be intrigued by recipes with names like Thanksgiving Stuffing Soup, Braised Chicken with Rhubarb Gravy and Vidalia Onion Fritters with Sambal Yogurt Dip.

A graduate of Rhode Island’s Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts, the very personable Massin came to NoBo with both a solid education and years of experience at Mike’s Bistro and The Prime Grill.

For all their deliciousness, frozen beverages do not stand the test of time well, as any ice or frozen fruit thickening your drink will melt into a watery mess.

“People who never buy cookbooks are getting this one,” said Victoria. “They read it cover to cover and find it so interesting.”

It goes without saying that when it comes to your kids, safety is always your number one priority.

While we are all accustomed to the occasional recipe substitutions – swapping milk for creamer, applesauce for oil – gluten-free cooking is a whole different ballgame.

Kitchen surfing is a unique concept that brings professional chefs to your home to prepare a meal in your own kitchen.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/unsung-heroes-a-behind-the-scenes-look-at-the-jewish-music-business/2013/04/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: