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Endnote: Rewind

August 31, 2017 3 min read

ENDNOTE: REWIND

RIKI GOLDSTEIN

 If you could press a button and redo one thing in your musical career, what would you change before hitting Play?

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2017

 

 Shloime Daskal 

“When he was still a bochur, Motti Illowitz composed ‘Veyizku Livnos Bayis Neeman,’ a beautiful, upbeat niggun full of life. He dropped it into my mailbox, I listened and I liked it. But my producer wasn’t sure about using it on my album, and we left it. Then Sruly Werdyger bought the song and it became huge, sung at weddings every night. I could feel bad, but obviously, the song wasn’t meant for me. The Ribbono shel Olam leads the way for each person, and that success was bashert for Sruly.”
 
Country Yossi 
“I wish I had learned to play keyboard. Guitar is fine, but watching my long-time musical partner Heshy Walfish perform on the piano is an awe-inspiring experience. I also wish I had followed my father’s advice and taken some voice lessons. The why for that is obvious!”
  
Benny Friedman
Fill the World with Light came out in 2016, and the feel-good-as-a Jew anthem “Ivri Anochi” with
catchy Hebrew and English lyrics was its biggest hit. Yet despite the song’s amazing popularity on the airwaves, Friedman says he still wishes he had sung it differently. The middle part of “Ivri Anochi,” a Hebrew section with lyrics written by Miriam Israeli, begins, “Benei Avraham, Yitzchak v’Yaakov, benei Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel v’Leah,” and every time Benny
Friedman hears it, he feels it’s wrong, because that’s not how the Lubavitcher Rebbe said it. “The Rebbe used these words many times, most memorable when he addressed the children at the Lag B’omer Parade,” Benny remembers. “But he said, ‘Benei Avraham, Yitzchak v’Yaakov, benos Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel v’Leah.’ I forgot that when I recorded the word ‘benei.’ I realized my mistake afterward — and I really regret it.”
 
Eli Gerstner
“If I could, I would pull my first CD, Hinei, off the shelves. Back then we had a limited budget, limited production skills, limited technology… now, I can’t even listen to it. But the truth is, I don’t listen to any of my own stuff, unless my kids put it on when we’re together in the car. I can’t — I constantly think that I should have changed the vocal, done the music differently….” 
 
Chaim Banet’s ROYAL MARCH 
“I always say that I don’t really compose music, I’m just the mailman to bring down a tune from Above,” says Reb Chaim Banet, veteran court composer for the Seret-Vizhnitz chassidus in Haifa. “My job in Elul is to compose a new piece of march-style music, which is traditionally sung in SeretVizhnitz before Aleinu in Mussaf of Rosh Hashanah. The march is meant to announce the arrival of the King, as the people prepare to coronate Hashem as Adon Hakol. Right now I’m working on this year’s march — and G-d-willing, it will be ready on time and do its job of uplifting the crowd.”
“DEALING WITH A DIFFERENT BOSS EVERY NIGHT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF MY JOB,” says Chilu Posen of Mezamrim Choir. “More than that, it’s not just one boss — a lot of jobs make you feel like you have 50 bosses: the mechutanim, the chassan, the siblings, the chassan’s friends, and every single bystander who has an opinion on how you should perform. Then, there are all these people who wave from the other side of the hall while you’re concentrating on the night’s performance. If you don’t respond, they feel ignored and upset. But there’s nothing as rewarding as making a chassan and kallah happy on this special night!”

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