"The Three Faces of Jerusalem poses questions. The first two: Why this program? Why now?
i can’t remember during my lifetime when the Middle East wasn’t on fire, at least metaphorically. Fire can be positive – providing light in the darkness and warmth in the cold, both spiritual and physical – but it can also be incredibly destructive, consuming all in its path.
Jerusalem is the symbol of that paradox, the centre of gravity for the great traditions and heritages of islam, Judaism and Christianity. One point of view is that its long and ancient history is one nearly continuous fight for domination. This is an unsettling conclusion, implying that as long as there are Muslims, Jews and Christians, a perpetual state of war will be the norm. it flies in the face of the fact that these heritages, culturally and musically, are joined at the hip, and that there have been times when they co-existed peacefully.
So the third question is: is there an alternative to endless violence and strife? This program features artists whose heritages encompass Morocco, israel, Palestine, Syria, iran, France, Canada and the United States. While it is significant that these artists bring inspiration from many cultures, each has a history of crossing cultural and geographic boundaries to make music. it is not possible to sing or play music from another culture unless you understand it.
i hope The Three Faces of Jerusalem will leave you asking questions. Events of the last two years in the Middle-East make projects like this more relevant and urgent than ever. We don’t create art to change the world. But can it make a difference?"
Françoise Atlan, vocalist
Yair Dalal, oud/violin
Ben Grossman, percussion, hurdy gurdy
Michael Ibrahim, nay, mizmar
Paul Jenkins, portative organ
Roula Said, vocalist
Kiya Tabassian, setar
Pierre-Yves Martel, viola de gamba
David Fallis, conductor
Dawn Bailey (soprano), Laura Pudwell (mezzo), Zachary Finkelstein (tenor), David Roth (baritone).
Poetry readings by Diego Matamoros, Françoise Atlan and Roula Said.
Peter Moss, dramatic consultant
Explore the Soundstreams commission catalogue on our SoundMakers website: SoundMakers.ca/soundstreams-commissions
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