Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “sacred space”

Lior Tsarfaty and The Prayer Songs Project Recording CD

I love the concept of Kickstarter – a grassroots start up opportunity wherein people donate as little as $5 to a project and only pay if the project reaches its financial goal. A friend of mine, a talented musician, Lior Tsarfaty, is trying to raise $12,000 (he has over $8,000 pledged) to record a project that includes music with Hebrew, Arabic and Sanskrit. He must complete the fundraising by Wednesday. Please take five minutes to check out his project and consider joining me with a small gift.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc5DCo184bQ

In his own words:

“…record a musical collaboration CD where Hebrew and Jewish music, Arabic prayers, Sanskrit chants and English poetry intertwine in a sacred space of art and community. I play with an ensemble of international musicians that bring together prayers, art and music with the intention of creating healing. The CD will be mainly based on songs that I wrote and composed in Hebrew and then other musicians weave in their languages and music.

After 3 years of many concerts, rehearsals and after playing with many musicians almost each of my songs found an Indian chant, or an Arabic prayer or a poem, or a Bossa Nova melody from Brazil. One song combines Hebrew and Portuguese, another contains English, Arabic, Sanskrit and Jewish melodies, and some of the songs are songs in which only I am singing. Some songs preferred to stay simple – with my voice and Hebrew lyrics. Some of the songs in this project are coming from a deep place of healing, some to promote peace and justice and some to create a personal musical connection between different cultures and musicians from around the world.

I have finalized the list of songs I will be including on this CD, I have contacted all the musicians that will be a part of this project and they have all agreed to be a part of the recording. The money will be for paying the recording studio – studio time, editing mixing and mastering, and paying the musicians that are participating in the project, and for all the expenses of designing a cover and manufacturing the CD.

You can help take part in this project with any sum – the reward list is on the right. This is an open invitation to join me in this project and help reach the goal of raising $12,000.

Thank you very much for your support,
Lior

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/ and on Twitter (@alonshalevsf).

A Corner That’s My Own

It is not easy finding a space to write as I share a small house with three other people who, rightfully, vie for a fair potion of my attention. Sure, I can go out to a café and I do, but when I am away for work or book promotion for so many hours of the week, sometimes I want to sit in my own house, and drink coffee out of my own mug.

Last week I took advantage of an Office Depot sale and bought a real desk. It is compact, but sits nicely in the kitchen looking outside to a concrete cube of a garden that my wife has softened up with plants and wind chimes.

Stephen King wrote Carrie in the laundry room, a typewriter (yes I wrote that correctly) on his lap. So who am I to complain? I’m not. I am actually sitting at the desk now, Detox AM tea in a cup, Genesis blasting from my woofer (also from Office Depot – 10 bucks, but hey Genesis always sound good). The family has given me an hour to sit here and the sun is reflecting off the metallic green and red wind chime.

But a place of your own to write is important. It is sacred space with a boundary defined by your craft of writing. It needs to exist: it demands respect.

Now I know you can find this sacred space anywhere because the key component is within. Starbucks and headphones can do it. I have written some solid passages in a busy airport lounge or on the BART train during rush hour.

But I do think we need that space somewhere, defined. It is part of our character as a writer: it really doesn’t need much. Above my head are my writing books. To their left is a small magnetic notice board with my writing goals for the month and some inspiration. Photos of the family are displayed, not staid portraits, rather scenes that make me smile. There is a modest, comfortable chair to sit on and I am ready to go.

Now, to quote the Genesis song: It’s time to Turn It On Again.

Good Writing,
Alon
http://www.alonshalev.com/

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