Hundreds of Melbourne women were wowed last week at the official debut concert of the music album Silent Prayer, launched by its composer/songwriter Rivka Leah. Performed to a capacity audience at the Randall Theater on 28th Adar, the impressive line up showcased the album’s singers and a star-cast of musicians and dancers. Concert-goers found themselves deeply moved and inspired by the message of unity that the collaborative performance imparted.
That special message underpins Rivka Leah’s vision to use music as a means for giving voice to others. In producing the album, the 24-year-old pianist/producer engaged a cast of her community’s gifted vocalists to sing and record. “With so much untapped local talent I was thrilled to create a stage for expressive and creative sharing…The best part was being in the recording studio and seeing the vocalists come into their own,” she reflects. The singers represent all ages and come from all corners of the Jewish community: one is a professional singer and mother of six, another is an aspiring songstress still finishing arts school. “They all share one thing,” Rivka Leah says. “Talent – and a calling to share it with the world.”
Rivka Leah’s intent is reflected in the words of the songs themselves. Referring to the unheard voice within us all, each composition echoes the myriad silent prayers of life. From the mother of Shmor Elokim longing to hear her soldier son’s “gentle voice, his footsteps outside”, to the longing expressed in Ani Maamin, “to see the oneness, feel the peace”, the songs resonate with authenticity. The enlivening tunes of Tell the Sun to Rise and I Give This Day to You offer uplifting messages to make each moment count. Like the chorus of Rachel’s Song, the music of Silent Prayer “wills us to go on.”
With a fusion of folk, soul and classic pop, the evocative compositions are refreshingly original. Rivka Leah’s poetic lyrics are deeply touching yet upbeat, with messages drawn from her own life experiences and Chassidic teachings close to her heart. The exceptionally polished musical arrangements by Robyn Payne of Admusic add depth, sophistication and soul to the collection.
“We all have an ability to connect to the divine,” says Rivka Leah. “In essence, silent prayer is the soul speaking as we go about our daily lives – that’s what I hope my music gives voice to”.
Distributed by Aderet Music, Silent Prayer is available online at www.mostlymusic.com and Judaica stores across America. To meet the cast and the story behind Silent Prayer, women and girls are invited to view the online video featurette at www.rivkaleahmusic.com.
Photography by: www.picsbypinni.com