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Beyond the Sounds by the Shevet Achim Family Ensemble

by yossi March 04, 2013

What lies beyond the sounds of Shevet Achim‘s new music album?
Some say it’s a spiritual purity expressed in music. Some say harmony and beauty. The ensemble members say that it’s a personal experience that each listener has, new and different each time.
In their third album, “Beyond the Sounds”, classic, beloved Jewish melodies are delicately, beautifully played in harmonious instrumental arrangements on flutes, clarinets and violin, accompanied by cello, string bass, piccolo, harp and piano.
The result is like a dream come true to those who love authentic Jewish music, and to those who enjoy classical music, and are touched by Jewish niggunim.

The melodies are familiar and beloved, including “Lecho Dodi” (Breslav), “Ka Echsof” (Karlin), and “Keli Ata” (Chabad). The instruments converge in uplifting harmoniousness through counterpoint (sub-melodies), creating a result which hints of a hidden world beyond the sounds. That is left for each of us to discover personally.

The musicians

The Shevet Achim Family Ensemble is indeed a family ensemble.
Rav Daniel Kohn, the main clarinetist is a well known lecturer and “spiritual coach” in Israel. His music blends with his years of mystic (Kabbalistic type) teachings, and his personal charisma.
His sisters, Dvorah (the composer, arranger, flautist and piccolo player), and Ruchel (the violinist), as well as Dvorah’s daughter Miriam (also violinist) form the core of the family ensemble.
The harpist, Rivka Arki-Amar plays and has toured with the Jerusalem Symphony and plays with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as well, and with various ensembles.
The pianist, M. Zlotnik is a graduate of Moscow’s prestigious Gneisin Music Academy, and teaches and arranges music in the Jerusalem area.
The cellist, Sara Dagan, the string bass player, Menucha Yoffe (of the Israel Philharmonic), the clarinetist, Yehudit Shrager, and the percussionist, Yona T. Yaacobowicz (of Tofa’ah) are all professional musicians, who play in various ensembles.
In this album, Shevet Achim host the renowned clarinetist, Chilik Frank, whose expressive, deeply sincere style blends beautifully with that of the ensemble.

How did it all begin?

In honor of their parents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary, the Kohn family looked for arrangements of Jewish niggunim for violin, clarinet and flute. As there weren’t any, they wrote their own, striving for the beauty and expression of classical music, combined with the depth, emotion and purity of our precious Jewish niggunim.

What do the experts say?

The album is highly recommended by a number of varied authorities, among them Professor Andre Hajdu and Dr. Evgeny Tsirlin (internationally known Israeli conductor, winner of many music awards, and head of conducting at the Rubin Music Academy of Jerusalem) who said, “Both the composition and the performance are absolutely outstanding! Top notch! Thank you for letting me hear your music. ”

Click PLAY below to hear the song Yom Shabbaton

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