The Chinese director Justin Jia arrived in my studio this summer. He was interested to see how I communicate with my audiences about my music. He was also helping us to communicate with Chinese presenters who are hoping to bring the Yuval Ron Ensemble to China. We decided to have Justin produce and direct a music video of one of my songs. We have also created a version with Chinese subtitles to post on servers that are accessible to the chinese people.
I gave him three of my CD’s (Under the Olive Tree, Tree of Life and Seeker of Truth) and asked him to take a listen and pick the one song that touches his heart most deeply. Being familiar with the film and TV work, I know how long one sits in front of the computer to edit a music video, and how many hours they hear that same song again and again and again while cutting the video.
Justin took a listen and made a clear choice: Erev Shel Shoshanim/Shalom Salam. It was interesting for me to sit down with a young Chinese director and to explain the background of the song and the context of the conflict in the Middle East. Justin got the picture. He shot some footage with my Ensemble singer Maya Haddi, duduk master Norik Manoukian, and myself, and assembled some images from Jerusalem to elaborate on the message of the song.
This song is a prayer for peace for the children of Jerusalem, the Middle East, and the whole world. Please share it with your friends and family and teach it to your children, so we can all carry the message of those who are tired of war and violence and wish only to live quietly in peace.
Recorded by the Yuval Ron Ensemble in 2009 for the CD Seeker of Truth, Erev Shel Shoshanim features Maya Haddi on lead vocals and guest Bassam Al Rashidi on male lead vocals. Additional vocals are performed by Smadar Levi, Noor and Valley Beth Shalom Choir. The ensemble also includes Norik Manoukian – duduk, Jamie Papish – percussion, David Martinelli – percussion, Virginie Alimian – kanoun, Najwa Gibran – vocals, Sukhawat Ali Khan – vocals and harmonium, Carolyne Aycaguer-Ron – harmonium, whirling dervish Aziz, sacred dancer Maya G and Yuval Ron – oud and the artistic director.