Monday, July 7, 2014

Yuval Avital's Kolot ('Voices'): The Singers

The 12 singers of Yuval Avital's Kolot ("Voices") sonic opera (2005) are from 10 ethnic groups residing in Israel:
  1. Rabbi Baruch Brener: Jewish Hassidic tradition,
  2. Rabbi Moshe Dabah; Jewish Karaite tradition,
  3. Soshana Dabah: Jewish Karaite tradition,
  4. Father Goossan: Christian Armenian tradition,
  5. Qes Vonda Eli Montesenout: Jewish Ethiopian tradition,
  6. Qes Baruch Mesret: Jewish Ethiopian tradition,
  7. Esti Kenan: Jewish Ladino tradition,
  8. Muhamed Abu-Ajaj; Muslim Bedouin tradition,
  9. Sofia Kaikov: Jewish Bucharan tradition,
  10. Riham Hiadri: Muslim Palestinian tradition,
  11. Gila Bashari: Jewish Yemenite tradition,
  12. Eli Bashari: Jewish Yemenite tradition,
The narrator is Rabbi Moshe Bar Yehuda.

Yuval Avital, who was born in Jerusalem in 1977, and now lives in Milan, writes on his website:
This icon/sonic opera for 12 traditional singers, mixed ensemble, electronics and visuals is an observation of Israel in all its cultural complexity - old Jewish traditions, Christian and Muslim cultures, Ancient populations and contemporary reality which travel in cycles of holiness, memory, thirst, pain, hope and modern frenetic day life; clashing and merging, separating and joining. The voice is treated as a symbol, a carrier of the sacred word, an extension of individual and collective emotions, and a testimony of life and reality.

The artists participating in the Opera are from completely different cultural backgrounds: rabbis and priests, avant-guard artists, carriers of ancient oral traditions, virtuoso soloists of oriental and occidental instruments and artists specializing in the use of new technologies. In order to combine them into one organism, Avital had to create an intimate dialogue with each of the participating individuals, and to form a unique architecture of the sounds and images, preserving their identities but also uniting them into one poetic unity.