Music has been a central inspiration in my life and work. And nowhere more so than for The Shabbat Project. The project has been particularly inspired by the beautiful Kabbalat Shabbat service welcoming the Sabbath at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue (NYC), led by Cantor Daniel Singer. The service consists of ancient prayers, psalms, niggunim and piyyutim. The pieces in the project interpret and embed the Kabbalat Shabbat and Shabbat morning prayers that have particular resonance for me through the music that carries them.
A soundscape is integral to the project and consists of music for the Kabbalat Shabbat service, so generously recorded by Cantor Singer. The viewer can walk around the exhibit with a specially prepared iPod. The soundscape prepares the viewer with an Introduction of music which sets the reflective and joyous mood for coming together for Kabbalat Shabbat – the receiving and welcoming of the Sabbath - including two wordless melodies or niggunim, and y’did nefesh, a 16th C. piyyut. The soundscape then moves on to the music that inspired particular pieces in my 12 piece project. Sample the soundscape inspiring “Romemu” and “Kol Adonai.”
Cantor Singer recently published “Tapestry of Prayer,” a collection of his compositions, with images from The Shabbat Project incorporated into the songbook. View Tapestry of Prayer PDF.
You can listen to some of Cantor Singer's compositions with the related Unweavings.
Listen to introductory music for the Kabbalat Shabbat service via the music player on the bottom-right corner.