Sunday, December 04, 2011

From the mailbag...

Catching up on some older emails... Itsi is looking for a musical collaborator in Brooklyn. If this is you, let me know and I'll pass on your info. He writes:
I live in Flatbush, Brooklyn NY For many years I worked closely with a professional pianist (not far from where I currently live,) at a rate of $35/hour to record demos of my compositions. Using Sonar/Cubase we recorded all tracks in MIDI form, and worked together on music-arrangements, etc. Unfortunately, the musician with whom I was frequently working developed a wrist condition, and was warned by his physician that continued overuse of his wrist may result in the loss of mobility of his hand. He and I continue to work together, however, with the health of his wrist a major concern, we do so far less frequently – greatly slowing the progress as a result. I was wondering if you know anyone in the Brooklyn, NY area, (preferably in Midwood/Flatbush,) that may be willing to work with me based on a similar ability/arrangement I mentioned above (and enjoyed until recently)? I thank you in advance for your time and consideration, and hope to hear back from you soon.
Daniel Ori writes:
Dear Hasidic Musician, I love your blog and find it very resourceful. I'm actually a jazz bassist in NYC ( It would be amazing if you could mention/review our new music app, Classical Melody Book. Here's the press release: For Immediate Release: The Melody Book releases its first app Classical Melody Book for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch Classical sheet music library Now Available in Apple’s App Store New York City – July 2011 – The Melody Book software has announced the worldwide release of its first iPhone/iPad touch app, which is currently gaining a lot of attention from the Apple iTunes store. Classical Melody Book provides hundreds of music scores for popular classical music along with an interactive melody based search, file transfer, and exclusive Call-A-Tune features. For those who have ever heard a melody, only to later have trouble recalling the name of the tune, the Classical Melody Book offers an innovative Melody Search that allows amateur and professional musicians to find the sheet music for hundreds of popular classical music pieces arranged for piano, guitar, violin, clarinet, orchestra, and more. In addition to the extensive sheet music archive, the app introduces “My Music”, a file transfer folder where users can import and share sheet music with a quick and easy interface. Whether it is being applied to the instruction, performance, or study of sheet music, Classical Melody Book is a useful and fun tool for musicians of all levels. Classical Melody Book is available in the United States at the Apple iTunes app store for $4.99, and is priced accordingly in other regions. Please visit for more information on this app and upcoming releases.
Michael writes:
A friend of mine who heard a shmooze from Harav Matisyahu Solomon of BMG told me that he said music is music. (except for rap) It doesnt matter who composed it. A melody has the ability (but not always) to uplift ones soul. That was the intent of it being created. Therefore there is no 'innapropriate' use of a melody in parts of our davening just because it was composed by non jews.
I wrote about Rabbi Solomon's approach here a while back.

Brett writes:

This is Bret from SkyeLab Music Group in New York City. Our producer/engineer Arthur Shweky has 14 Gold/Platinum records, 2 Grammy nominations and has worked with some major stars such as Madonna, Will Smith, Alicia Keys, Santana, Queen Latifah and many more, along with being involved in 6 #1 Billboard hits. We have a new artist, Saul Hassoun, that we are producing and feel may be of interest to you. His music would likely appeal to readers of your blog. For your consideration, you can check out the video for Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim at the link below. Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the music!

Yonatan writes:

You have some interesting articles, but...because the "search" feature of your blog doesn't appear to work, at least not for me, I can't find what older material you have on some topics of interest. Otherwise, not bad.
Um, thanks. I think. The Google toolbar has never worked properly on the blog. Unfortunately, Google doesn't let me hide it. You can search the site in Google, either from the Google homepage, or using your browser's search feature and you'll get much better results.

Finally, Monique writes:

INSTRUMENTAL JEWISH HIP HOP ACT, THE ASTHMATIX RELEASE DEBUT EP IN TIME FOR HANNUKAH The Jewish culture is as much steeped in its dark and beautiful history as it is in stereotypes such as Jewish guilt and kosher brisket. Sydney-based quartet, The Asthmatix respond to this with an irreverent, off-the-wall-anything-goes brand of hip hop that is equal measures Marx Brothers and Scott Storch, Monty Python and John Zorn. The Asthmatix is comprised of two diagnosed ventolin-puffers and two members who have used asthma as an excuse on more than one occasion to get out of sports class. Band members include Morphingaz on beats and cuts (Chilly Gonzales / Mocky), Daniel Weltlinger on violin (Lulo Reinhardt / Monsieur Camembert), Damn P on keys and melodica (The Strides / Dereb The Ambassador) and Asparagus Mlynsky on decks (Radio Alice). The Asthmatix have been blending the art of klezmer, hip hop, middle eastern melodies and traditional turntablism since 2007. Their live performance sees the four-piece cleverly combine Jewish humour with traditional Jewish melody, soaring violins and old school hip hop beats. Whilst New York-based hassidic homeboy, Matisyahu may be helpful as a reference point for the falafel-munching foursome, The Asthmatix are more likely to be compared to the likes of instrumental hip hop pioneers, Hermitude than their fellow Jewish counterpart. Their debut single, Latke was released in December 2010 to coincide with the festival of lights, Hannukah. Exactly one year later, just in time for the very same festival, The Asthmatix release their highly anticipated debut EP, 'Go Team Go' Listen here. ‘Go Team Go’ will be released through Futureskool of Music on 20 December 2011 For more information: